In light of Solid Gold’s woefully belated entry into the recall crap soup and their bizarre news release in which they portray themselves as some kind of late night heroes by releasing this info on 5/7 on their surprisingly shit website (more on this later), I ask: WTF takes these companies so long to announce and subsequently recall their foods that were manufactured at Diamond’s Gaston Salmonella factory?
They all make sure to say things like, “None of our foods have been found to contain Salmonella, but we are taking voluntary and cautionary action by recalling our foods,” which is supposed to tell us that their primary concern is to announce a recall, TO BE SAFE, JUST IN CASE, even if the food hasn’t been found to be contaminated (yet). If that’s the case, WTF on CYA island have they been waiting for? Since Solid Gold *went out of their way* to pretend like they were born yesterday and had just now found out about this shitstorm, I’m extra curious-furious.
Check this out. This is the first part of their recall news on the Solid Gold website. The list of affected products and standard verbiage about how they’re sorry follow this passage:
May 7, 2012
Just a few hours ago, Solid Gold received information that two batches of our foods were made at the Diamond Gaston plant around the same time period as some of the previously recalled foods of other brands. Though we have had zero complaints about these particular batches, we have decided to recall them as a precautionary measure. Due to the time difference between us and the appropriate FDA office, there was not enough time in the day to further discuss this voluntary recall with the FDA. We are announcing this now because we know our customers are concerned and didn’t want an entire night to go by without this information being available to the public. Tomorrow morning (May 8th), after speaking with the FDA, Solid Gold will officially institute a voluntary recall of two batches of food made at the Diamond Gaston facility.
Really? Just a few hours ago on 5/7? You don’t have production records of your own?
How on earth do they *just now* find out that their food was produced around the Salmonella time? I mean, they say so themselves that their food was produced “around the same time period as some of the previously recalled foods of other brands.” In other words, other brands found out and recalled their shit much earlier, but we are just now getting to it. Huh?
I understand that some companies farm out their production to multiple facilities and may not know on a moment’s notice exactly at what Listeria time on what Salmonella day that their food was on the aflatoxin production line. But, given the fact that everyone has on hand—which is, Diamond’s Gaston plant produced foods contaminated with Salmonella—wouldn’t it not even take someone one second to realize, “Oh shit, some or all of our food is made there.” And, if you’re a responsible company (or at least one that cares about public opinion), the next course of action should be, “Let’s recall the food that went through that plant, right away.”
For whatever it’s worth, I have long been privately suspicious of this company precisely because of their sketchy marketing philosophy (overtly fear-driven and super light on science, usually while vilifying or aggrandizing some ingredient, or attacking other companies). I’m not sure if they have a terrible copywriter with a broken sanity filter or what, but I don’t trust them on principle: If you are nuts, things you do are probably nuts.
As I promised earlier to return to the subject of Solid Gold’s surprisingly shit website, you will be thrilled to find out that the news of this recall that they are so eager to share with you is nowhere to be found on the front page, and is *totally buried* in a tiny “footer navigation menu” at the very, very bottom of the page. No way to get to it from the top navigation, and no way to even SEARCH for it. (There is a search box, but type in “recall” and you get nothing.)
In this day and age (I hate saying this, but I hate “at this point in history” even more), there is literally no excuse to not update your website’s front page with a BIG note about time-sensitive important news like a mofo recall. No web staff? Then hire someone by the hour! Oh wait, it says “Maintained by eMarket Reach”—call them, Solid Gold! It takes like 3 minutes, seriously. I can see that it’s at least partially PHP-driven and that means you’ve got some kind of CMS thing going on to make it easy for you to make changes yourself. Do it!
I didn’t visit every single website of the companies involved in this recall, but most of the similarly popular and “higher quality” brands that I checked out had the recall notice posted on the front page. (Some may notice that Diamond-owned brands like Chicken Soup and Taste of the Wild share the same recall news button.) Since my real job (I KNOW!) is as a branding/design professional, I felt compelled to point out this stuff. And, since I’m a designer, I hope Natural Balance finds a new designer. Just saying. (But at least they put the important recall button, in yellow, at the very, very top!! Good job!)
Well, there’s just no excuses, Solid Gold. If your communication strategy (if one can call it as such) isn’t so full of weird intent, it would seem like you’re just clueless. However, you totally know better.
ETA: Oh look, I’m not the only one who thinks this news release is ridiculous.