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The new York Times has a story about how Nick Caporella, CEO of the National Beverage Co., which makes LaCroix sparkling water, decided to take an unusual approach when commenting on a 40 percent drop in profit during the last quarter.

He blamed “injustice.”

The Times writes that “in a news release, Mr. Caporella said that National Beverage was ‘truly sorry for these results’ and that ‘negligence nor mismanagement nor woeful acts of God were not the reasons.’

“‘Much of this was the result of injustice!’ he added, without any explanation of what exactly he meant.”

Later on, a company spokesman provided An explanation, that Caporella was “referring to a lawsuit filed against the company in October in Cook County, Ill., on behalf of a customer. The suit claims that LaCroix, which National Beverage markets as ‘all natural,’ has artificial ingredients, including one used by exterminators.”

The spokesman added, “Without any valid test results, somebody makes a complaint and says a brand has ingredients like cockroach insecticide — that’s injustice … You’re guilty without being proven so, without due process.”

Elsewhere in his press release, Caporella said that “managing a brand is not so different from caring for someone who becomes handicapped … Brands do not see or hear, so they are at the mercy of their owners or care providers who must preserve the dignity and special character that the brand exemplifies.”

The Times notes that Caporella owns nearly 73 percent of National Beverage, which means he had a very personal stake in the company’s plummeting profits.
KC's View:
Two suggestions.

First, get this guy Caporella some media training.

In the meantime, tell him to be quiet.

I happen to be a LaCroix consumer, and I never believed the allegations, and so my consumption habits never changed, But it was LaCroix’s responsibility toi make the case to consumers - and the media - for why this was a bogus accusation.

Whining about injustice - and comparing brand management to caring for a disabled person - is just plain stupid and tone-deaf. (I’m guessing Caporella never has actually cared for someone disabled, or he never would’ve made that comparison.)

When my kids were growing up and they’d complain about something being unfair, I had a consistent response: “Life is unfair. Get used to it.”

I have no sympathy for someone who manufactures fizzy water, but who thinks of these problems in such grandiose terms.

Get over yourself. Self-pity and whining doesn’t get you anywhere.