I’m a little biased. I used to wear contact lenses, and now I don’t. It wasn’t a medical issue, nor one of cost. I just got tired of the cleaning routine.
Now mind you, I was pretty good. I was able to wear a single pair of contacts for nearly two years (pre-disposables). I was religious in my hygeine and upkeep, and it showed. I used Bausch and Lomb products.
I also knew from talking with my opthalmologist that far too many people aren’t as diligent as I was. I understood that many guidelines and recommendations came from the knowledge that most people didn’t follow the directions — and you had to account for that.
B&L this morning announced the total withdrawal of ReNu with MoistureLoc MultiPurpose Solution from the market. It’s been off the shelves for weeks, and will not come back in any way. Research showed that too many fungal eye infections were attributed to users who didn’t follow directions.
From a PR perspective, it’s never good news when you blame the customer. B&L has relied heavily on the Centers for Disease Control to mete out the bad news, which it ought to do.
Speaking of bad news, it’s also not good when you put a statement at the top of your website — and users click through to a forbidden link!
As of 10:30 EDT, the link is still down. If you want to know what B&L CEO Ron Zarrella has to say, you have to get it off of news websites. And there’s no guarantee he’s getting his best messages across through those filters.
How long till someone notices?
Update: The link now opens, with a RealPlayer video message. The text is available as a .pdf, and includes:
After thousands of tests, there is no evidence of MoistureLoc contamination, tampering or counterfeiting. That leads us to conclude that there may be some aspect of the MoistureLoc formula, when combined with certain environmental factors, lens wear and care practices, and other factors, that might increase the risk of Fusarium infection in rare circumstances.
“lens wear and care practices”. In other words, “operator error.”
But, much like the Audi 5000 and “sudden acceleration syndrome,” the truth doesn’t play as well as the myth. So you de-emphasize the blame element, put your company in a more tort-resistant position, and you move on.