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Taking the time to get it right

Matthew Rogerson writes: There has been a spate of recent PR gaffes from the non-stop social media universe this year.

There has been a spate of recent PR gaffes from the non-stop social media universe this year. Some of these; like Jason Biggs’ thoughtless comments in reaction to the tragedy of MH17, are perhaps misguided attempts at humour. Others like Gemma Worrall’s misguided but endearing "Barraco Barner" comment will invite both positive and negative responses.

Warren Buffet remarked that "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you will do things differently". In today’s hyper-connected world, it only takes one thoughtless post written in 30 seconds to undo a brand that may have taken decades to build.

Today’s consumers have less time. They are also less loyal to generic products and will fall back on price or availability if the main choice is no longer available. One bad experience, or poor brand communications and they are ready to swap – a personal loss that is not felt individually by the company they leave, but can have an exponential effect very quickly. A clear label, marking or barcode can be the difference between a core brand and one that flashes and fades in six months.

Reducing error is a theme for the features of this edition of Packaging Today. Ross Davies is looking at inspection and detection, a market that thrives off the reduction of serious errors that cause far reaching impacts such as total product recalls or worse. This is a particularly topical theme with the ongoing investigations by retailers into 2 Sisters. Next, Jim Banks casts an eye over the pharmaceutical packaging industry, which is constantly on guard to ensure traceability, accountability and compliance of its products. Incoming legislation will be discussed along with its potential to further reduce errors.

This month we are also taking a look at the rigid plastics market, which includes insight into lightweighting, recycling and waste reduction. Staying on theme, Barry Mansfield puts the spotlight on brand protection and security, a discipline that requires constant vigilance to protect against errors or theft.

In our Last word feature we have a response from the EPS industry to claims made in an earlier publication that questioned its validity; and in Viewpoint there is a shortened version of an article by Liz Wilks on the part packaging plays with food waste. The full version is online at

I wish you happy reading.

Matthew Rogerson

Chief Editor