Arla Foods and the Cartoon Crisis (A)
(8 pages of text)
After a Danish newspaper publishes cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, consumers across the Middle East decide to boycott Danish goods. Arla Foods (Arla) is one of Europe's largest dairy companies. Suddenly, it finds itself caught in the middle of a crisis that appears to be beyond its control. Prior to the boycott, the Middle East was Arla's fastest growing region and represented an important component of the company's long-term growth strategy. As the largest Danish company in the region, it stands to lose up to $550 million in annual revenues. Students are asked to take the role of the communication director for Arla, who, along with other members of the newly formed Crisis and Communication Group, must decide on a course of action to deal with the crisis. The case addresses a variety of topics, including culture and religion, international management, risk management, crisis communications, and managing in a boycott situation. It also creates an opportunity to discuss doing business in the Middle East and management in an Islamic context.
Denmark;Sweden;Saudi Arabia, Large, 2006
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