Research released by the Reputation Institute shows that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is one of the most trusted companies among millenials. Placing third just after Samsung and Nike, it appears the company’s reputation is not suffering with younger adults due to recent lawsuits regarding the safety of its products.
Johnson & Johnson has long been a trusted company that promotes family values, but the past few years have brought to light various overt acts of negligence regarding the safety of its products.
J&J agreed to pay a hefty $2.2 billion fine in 2013 for illegally marketing several of its best selling prescription medications, including the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. J&J marketed the drug for off-label use in children and the elderly, causing devastating side effects.
Just this year, J&J has lost several multi-million dollar lawsuits regarding the side effects of its consumer products. So far, the company has been ordered to pay $502 million to five plaintiffs in the DePuy hip implants lawsuits, $55 million to the estate of an Alabama woman who developed ovarian cancer from J&J’s talcum powder products, and another $72 million in an additional talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit. Discovery during the talcum powder lawsuits produced internal J&J documents showing the company knew about the dangers of talcum powder, but continued to market the product anyway.
While millennials might have been raised on the company’s wholesome image, they should be wary of trusting the company in light of recent events. With two more talcum powder lawsuits scheduled for this fall and several more lawsuits pending in 2017, J&J might find it increasingly difficult to maintain its trusted persona amongst younger consumers.