“Media—traditional and new—is the conduit to the public,” said Jennifer Abril, president of the International Fragrance Association North America (IFRANA), during the organization’s fall symposium. Fortunately, she said, “The industry has a good story to tell, and we’re getting better at telling it. We’re visible and forthcoming, now more than ever.”
Abril went on to warn that the fragrance industry is often approached by media that has already constructed a narrative that skews negative. Media outlets, required to fill an ever-growing content void, are fed these negative stories by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Recent examples include the “Hall of Shame” cleaning product database launched by the Environmental Working Group, and the Silent Spring Institute’s faulty report, “Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma-Associated Chemicals in Consumer Products.”
Bad science notwithstanding, media follow-ups on such projects present great challenges for industry. While the symposium speakers did not argue that messages can be controlled, they did explain that how industry responds before and during a crisis can positively affect the outcome.