Blowout!: Firestone’s image restoration campaign

Joseph R. Blaney
William L. Benoit
LeAnn M. Brazeal


In this application of image restoration theory, Blaney, Benoit, and Brazeal discover that Firestone botched its recovery efforts. Its attempt to shift blame to Ford was poorly conceived. Its corrective action was not perceived as addressing the problem at hand. Moreover, its use of Michael and Mario Andretti to bolster its product and reputation was limited by the obvious financial relationship with these professional drivers. Finally, the authors support past scholarship that scrutinizes the appropriateness of certain strategy combinations. Specifically, mortification and bolstering can be undermined by denial and corrective action.