This study analyzes Merck‟s responses to the crisis involving one if its products, Vioxx, an arthritis and pain-relief medication that was pulled from the market when a study found a higher rate of heart attacks and strokes in patients using the drug than those in a placebo. The study illustrates the use of communication theory and image restoration strategies by utilizing Benoit‟s (1995) Image Restoration Typology. The study uses a critical analysis methodology to examine the communication strategies employed by Merck in order to attempt to restore its image. The authors look at excerpts from media stories, carefully examine the language used by company representatives in response to the crisis, and categorize the corporate communications into various strategies as defined in the crisis communication literature. Corporate responses are critical in determining what amount of damage is done to the firm‟s image during a crisis.
Erickson, Sheri; Stone, Mary; and Weber, Marsha, "Image Restoration in the Healthcare Industry: Merck’s Use of Communication Strategies in the Vioxx Case" (2010). MWAIS 2010 Proceedings. 5.