Baby 'halo' saves J&J brand from recalls, legal woes

Has any drugmaker suffered more tarballs to its good name than Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) over the past year? Recalls, lawsuits, government probes, guilty pleas--it's been one negative headline after another. Just today, news outlets reported J&J pleaded guilty in an off-label marketing case involving its heart drug Natrecor, and a Los Angeles jury awarded $48 million in damages to a man who claimed Motrin use caused his severe skin condition.

So, one of the persistent questions has been whether consumers hold all of this against the company. Once J&J's consumer drugs make it back to store shelves, will people buy? Or will they stick to the store brands and competitors they've turned to as J&J sorts through its manufacturing problems?

CEO Bill Weldon (photo) has repeatedly promised J&J will do what's necessary to repair its reputation. But if a Forbes brand-power survey is any indication, Weldon won't have to bother. The magazine and its survey co-sponsors asked 2,500 U.S. consumers about 100 different brands, posing questions about honesty, ethics, quality, transparency and social responsibility. J&J aced it. Those 2,500 consumers put it at the top of the heap.

The magazine said J&J's baby products offer a "halo effect" that encompasses the entire brand. So, if buyers flock back to J&J's children's drugs, Motrin and Tylenol products, and other recalled consumer meds, the company may just have baby powder to thank.

- see the Forbes article

Suggested Articles

Last year at ESMO, AZ and Merck showed Lynparza topped its rivals at fending off prostate cancer. Now, Lynparza has helped patients live longer, too.

Merck and Eisai are trying to take their Keytruda-Lenvima combo into additional cancers, and new data provide a glimpse of where it might go next.

Bristol-Myers already has one Opdivo combo approved in kidney cancer, but it’s going for another—and new trial data could be just the ticket.