Hill and Knowlton: Staring Down Consumer Advocates?

While even Wall Street was getting edgy about increasing reports of a fungal infection pointing to a Bausch and Lomb contact lens solution, the company's PR firm dryly glared at consumer advocates. "Bausch and Lomb has not yet recalled ANY of its products. Rather, its Renu MoistureLoc has been taken off the shelves. Who can I speak to about this inaccuracy?" asked Hill and Knowlton's Grace Healy in an email to Consumeraffairs.com. On May 15, the company finally did "recall" MoistureLoc--permanently. The fungus infection has required corneal transplants in some contact lens solution users. Well before Hill and Knowlton's email, consumer watchdogs as far flung as Malaysia had criticized the company for inadequate response. "Other pharmaceutical companies facing potential problems have taken much more aggressive measures to alert their customers of the possible dangers," reports James R. Hood. Standard and Poors notes: "[T]he company's failure to be more proactive in recalling the product has created substantial potential liabilities."