The Situationist

The Situation of Hygiene-Related Sales and Swine Flu

Posted by The Situationist Staff on May 12, 2009

Swine Flu MasksThe Appleton (Wisconsin) Post-Crescent has an interesting piece on hygiene-related companies taking advantage of Swine flu fears, which have grown as the the illness has spread (there are reportedly now 2,600+ cases in 44 U.S. states).  We excerpt the piece below.

* * *

Marketers are out in force — particularly on the Internet — with items ranging from 99-cent face masks to potions such as oregano oil that fetch $70 a bottle to third-party overnight shipments of Tamiflu for $135 per prescription.

David Dickson, a spokesman for Dallas-based consumer products giant Kimberly-Clark Corp., which employs about 4,000 people in the Fox Cities, said the company has seen an increase in interest in orders for face masks and other health care products the firm sells through its Kimberly-Clark Professional division.

Kimberly-Clark’s N95 mask respirator meets Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, is effective against airborne disease transmission and is available at most retail stores, Dickson said.

With more people seeking medical attention, health care providers have needed more basic supplies, he said.

Kimberly-Clark’s biggest customer for the face masks is health care providers, Dickson said. Some major marketers are seeing an uptick in sales of items such as masks, latex gloves, anti-bacterial soaps and hand sanitizers.

Consumer gurus aren’t surprised that so many treatments and protective devices related to swine flu — legitimate or not — are getting plenty of traction from retailers and marketers.

“When we’re faced with a potential threat, we tend to imagine the worst,” says Jerald Jellison, a social psychologist. “That’s what marketers are capitalizing on. In a state of high need, with our rational powers diminished, we’ll take almost any action.”

* * *

To read the rest of the piece, click here.  To read other Situationist posts on marketing, click here.

About these ads

2 Responses to “The Situation of Hygiene-Related Sales and Swine Flu”

  1. [...] The Situation of Hygiene-Related Sales and Swine Flu [...]

  2. [...] In the post (part of which I excerpt below) I considered whether this recent shift might reference a genuine change in corporate culture or if it might just be the latest marketing fad (comparable, in certain respect, to playing up swine flu fears to sell hygiene-related products). [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 827 other followers

%d bloggers like this: