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Author Topic: ??? !!! ??? WHAT'S UP COLGATE ??? !!! ??? - 7-27-07  (Read 2991 times)
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« on: July 26, 2007, 08:25:23 PM »

 Huh?

CALL FOR ACTION: Colgate keeps Florida in the dark about questionable toothpaste

July 27. 2007

By Nadia Ramdass, WIINK News

WINK News contacted Colgate about this story. They would not answer questions over the phone, but only responded via E-mail in one sentence. Saying they were pro-active in educating people about counterfeit Colgate. Regardless of geography. The company did not say what is pro-active. To this date, they have only mentioned Florida once and only to WINK.

The toothpastes in question looks almost identical: Both come in five-ounce or 100-milliliter tubes. Neither should be in this country. The first type is a Colgate product made for sale in Africa. It was not approved by the FDA and Colgate says they never ship it here and they do not know how it got to the US.

The second type: A counterfeit version. This fake toothpaste could contain a chemical found in anti-freeze. Words like Africa and association are misspelled on the box.

"That's not good," said Stacey Crowley of Naples.

WINK News first discovered the counterfeit version at the "Price Buster Food Center" on Palm Beach Boulevard in Fort Myers. We also found the unauthorized paste at the "Back Bay Market" on Tice Street in Fort Myers and in the "Super Stop Food Store" on Orange River Road in North Fort Myers.

Unchecked and counterfeit toothpastes scare some customers.

"As a consumer I feel we should be protected," said Rose Lecce of Naples.

We felt that way too. So WINK News notified Colgate about our findings. The reaction we got is not what we expected. A company spokesperson told WINK News we should check their website. To all of our other questions: They said "No comment".

"One of the first rules in the public relations bible is to never ever say no comment. It's not an acceptable answer it leads people to believe that you have something to hide," said Susan Bennett of Susan Bennett Marketing and Media.

We pressed further and tried to get an explanation. Seven days later finally an E-mail.

The E-mail states in part, "If a consumer from any state, including Florida, contacts us regarding potentially counterfeit product, we gather information about the place of purchase and arrange to receive and evaluate the product."

That is the only time Colgate spokes people have ever publicly mentioned Florida in relation to this case. Also in the E-mail, they never asked us where we found the counterfeit or African toothpastes. So we went back to Bennett for her take.

"It didn't really respond to your question about Florida,'" said Bennett.

When something like this happens, public relations people move into what they call "crisis management mode". Bennett says on a national level Colgate was near perfect. By putting information on their website and providing customers with a hot-line to answer questions. Locally Bennett says their reaction is puzzling.

"It's very important in a crisis communication scenario to always be proactive. You don't want to be in a position of being reactive and that's what I'm seeing in this case," said Bennett.

Bennett says there may be three reasons for Colgate's reaction. One: They did not get the message, which is highly unlikely. Two: They chose to ignore WINK News. Three: They simply may have been overwhelmed by other media requests.

"Whatever the case may be, they need to respond to the media it's cardinal rule number one in public relations," said Bennett.

Some PR experts disagree with Bennett. They say Colgate's silence could be because they do not want a bad reputation, others think it could be out of fear of lawsuits. However, what they all agree upon is Colgate did the right thing for consumers. When we called as a customer saying we found it, they sent us all of this: A postage-paid envelope, so we could send the product back to the company, helping them investigate. Along with a letter informing us of the tainted toothpaste warning and some coupons.

The counterfeit Colgate was originally found in four states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Colgate says counterfeit toothpaste has been found in more states other than the original four. However, Colgate has not listed those states publicly. The only way to find them is through media reports. The other states are: Michigan, Virginia, Illinois, and here in Florida.
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This is a GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT to put the human and pet food manufacturer's of America on alert, that we will not tolerate vague labeling of our foods, any longer.

We want full disclosure of ingredients, source/country-of-origin, place of manufacturing & place of distribution, including a toll-free number.

Oh, by-the-way -- STOP POISONING OUR FOOD!!!
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