UB Marketing Chair, Marketing Experts to Examine Image of Ford and Firestone Brands Following Tire Recall

Release Date: February 22, 2001

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A comprehensive case study by the chair of the marketing department in the University at Buffalo School of Management on the brand images of Firestone and Ford Motor Co. will be the basis for a panel discussion to be held on March 3 by the school's Executive MBA Program.

The discussion by prominent area marketing experts, "Managing a Brand Out of a Crisis," will be presented as part of the Executive MBA program's "Strategic Marketing" course, taught by Arun Jain, author of the study who is chair of the marketing department and Samuel P. Capen Professor of Marketing Research in the management school.

It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Jacobs Management Center on UB's North (Amherst) Campus.

Panelists will include Jain; Doug Bean, partner, Eric Mower & Associates; Bill Collins, principal, Travers/Collins/Partners; Susan Schutte, president, The Schutte Group, and Chuck Scothon, senior vice president of marketing, Fisher-Price.

The discussion will focus on Firestone's and Ford's management of the controversy that has surrounded the Firestone ATX tires and Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle. The products were investigated as a cause of several traffic accidents during the '90s, leading to the recall of more than 14 million tires in 2000.

The comprehensive case study by Jain summarizes events prior to and following the tire recall, citing internal company memos, consumer complaints, congressional hearing transcripts, company stock activity, company news releases and media investigations.

For a copy of Jain's study, go to http://www.mgt.buffalo.edu/news/firestone.pdf and http://www.mgt.buffalo.edu/news/exhibits-firestone.pdf.

"The panel will analyze ways in which the controversy -- and the companies' handling of the crisis -- impacted the equity of the Ford and Firestone brands and cost the companies billions of dollars in lost earnings," Jain says. "This case is a glaring example of the damage that can be inflicted upon a company's image, and will be studied by marketing professionals for years to come."

The UB School of Management's Executive MBA Program enrolls high-achieving managers from Western New York companies. The program's curriculum is designed to provide students with the tools to contribute more effectively to the strategic initiatives of their organizations and respond with greater confidence to industry trends.

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