Bayer AG: Children's ASPIRIN
In the mid-1980s, Bayer AG faced a crisis when aspirin was associated with Reyes Syndrome, a rare but serious illness in children. Bayer decided not to remove Chilren's ASPIRIN from the market, but they pulled all promotion for the brand and complied with government regulations regarding product warnings on packaging. Shortly thereafter, new discoveries revealed the effectiveness of aspirin in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes in adults. Children's ASPIRIN - due to its lower cost and lower dosage - was an ideal product for the prevention market. Over the years, sales of Children's ASPIRIN had increased, but Bayer AG had never analyzed the percent of sales due to the children's v. prevention markets. Now the company must make a decision about what to do with the product. Should they retract Children's ASPIRIN altogether in order to increase sales of Bayer's higher-margin prevention brands or reintroduce it as a prevention product under another brand name? Implications for company growth and profitability are examined.
Suggested for brand management, crisis management, market development, forecasting.