Washed out with the Tide

As a fellow itcher who recently bought Tide detergent, I was interested to see Darren Barefoot’s post regarding Procter and Gamble’s lack of response to complaints on their microsite. Essentially, a reader commented on Tide’s message board:

“Has anyone else experienced itching afte using 2X Ultra Tide Mountain Spring scent ? I never had an allergic reaction to anthing, but it seems I developed this generalized itch after I started using this product…”
This was back in on December 24th. Another reader added to the comment in May, followed by another 17 over the summer. Finally, on August 27th, after Darren’s post, a member of Tide’s marketing team posted a response. Where the heck were they?
Key rules in public relations are research, two-way communications and timely response. Here is my unsolicited advice to the folks at Procter and Gamble:
  • If you are going to use any form of communication with your customers, learn how to use it properly; not just the technology but the rules of engagement.
  • Ensure you have a team member assigned to regularly monitor its progress.
  • Never – ever – put yourselves out there if you don’t want to hear the bad news along with the good.
  • Respond quickly. It’s not only good manners, but it shows you care about your customers. Which of course you do, right?
  • Report back on what you are doing to correct the problem.

I’ll be expecting to hear about the new itchless Tide by mid-September. And by the way, I threw mine out.

PS While adding my links for the above I noticed that Tide has another 69 posts bidding them goodbye on another thread. I think P&G has a bigger PR problem than I thought. Time to monitor their message board, me thinks.
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14 Responses to “Washed out with the Tide”


  1. 1 NeonRooster September 1, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    We switched from regular Tide (used all my life) and began using the Tide 2X Ultra in July… towards the end of July i got what seemed to be a mild Conjunctivitis in my right eye and occasionally my left, basically it felt like a mucous over my eye ball and actually blurred vision ever so slightly as though I’d dripped water in my eye. After 4 doctors, two types of prescription eye drops, an eye specialist, all kinds of that fake tears BS and Visine. etc I still had it. My mother began to experience the same sort of thing around the same time. soon later my father had Conjunctivitis that came and went and then returned one morning. It’s now September first and I’m still suffering from the damn thing… the only day since then that it cleared up completely was yesterday coincidentally i wore a brand new (unwashed in Tide 2X) t-shirt and by early afternoon my eyes were perfect. If I am outside in the breeze they feel pretty good until I’m in a closed space with idle air like a car with the windows up. I was wondering if anybody else had experienced this eye irritation… Eyes feel much more “sticky” in the morning after sleeping in the “Tide 2X-washed” bedding… Going to try the good old Tide again and see what happens. I’ll update with the result.

  2. 2 Gloria Cooper September 26, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I recently started using 2X Tide Ultra and find that I have developed a rash and itchy spots over a number of areas of my body. I have used Tide for years and never had a problem with it until I started using Tide 2X.

    I was initially diagnosed with eczema and after a several types of creams I find I am still itchy with a recurring rash that seems to ease if I wear something that has been washed in 2X Tide.

    I’d be interested in hearing from others with the same problem.

  3. 3 Cragzop December 7, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I too, developed extreme itchyness after switching to Tide 2x. I literally had to take my shirt off at work and buy another one. I also had eye problems, inititally diagnoses as contact dermatitist, the allergic conjunctivitis. Then red, oozing scaley dry skin the dermatologist said was psoriasis, then eczema.

    1 year later I have diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma. Some oncologists believe Hodgkins can be caused by exposure to environmental things like industrial or other chemicals.

  4. 4 maggieks December 8, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks for your comment, Cragzop. It is an interesting topic to me. My comments were from a public relations viewpoint. When I went back to the company’s website tonight I see they have removed everyone’s comments and closed the forum. Now there’s an ad in its place.

    I’ll explore this topic some more this week in my next blog post.

  5. 5 sue December 26, 2008 at 9:42 am

    I have always used Tide for years. Recently I noticed a rash and my body became very itchy. I noticed that they changed Tide to Tide 2x and that is what is causing my rash. I am not able to find regular Tide in any of the stores, so I had to just switch brands all together since I can not use the Tide 2x formula. Be careful if you are a Tide user. This new formula is very strong and concentrated. I do not even have sensitive skin and I was breaking out in a rash.

  6. 6 Susan January 25, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks for all the postings. My mom has a rash & her eyes are swollen. She also uses Tide 2X. Or, she did. Re-washing everything is a drag. Benadryl helps short term.

  7. 7 Dave January 27, 2009 at 6:26 am

    I am SO glad that I found this blog. I am 42, have never had any skin problems, and have pretty much always used Tide. Earlier this year we found ourselves using a store brand detergent (although interestingly the 2X concentrated formula of this brand) and never had an issue. A few months ago Tide 2X went on sale so I of course bought a few containers of the stuff.

    At Christmas I began feeling itchy all over my body. It wasn’t localized, and throughout the day I found myself scratching like crazy with bumps and welts appearing as I scratched. I tried switching diet, using moisturizers, etc… The only thing that helped at all were antihistamines (bizarre since I have never exhibited any skin allergies).

    Then my wife noted that the only other thing that changed in that time frame was that we began using the Tide 2X that I bought in the fall.

    I am running out today to buy an alternate brand and rewash all of our clothing and linens. I will let you know if this helps.

  8. 8 Lisa February 9, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Thank you so much for posting about the new Tide ultra 2x. I have NEVER had any problems with laundry detergent, and I used to old tide, until after I started fall semester, I started gettingg very very mysterious itches and swollenness on my skin, everywhere, it was really depressing because I did NOt know where it came from. I lived with it for two weeks, not knowing what my problem was coming from, and i found out TIDE HAS CHANGED THE FORMULA TO ULTRA 2X. really really baad stuff, I DONT EVEN HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN and this thing made my skin itch so bad that broke out in tears sometimes.
    I used to be regular tide forumer, but Tide closed the message boards (since they received many many complaints about the new formula…smart.) DO NOT buy this product.

  9. 9 jackie February 24, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    I wish I had known aobut everyones allergic reactions to Tide (any form of it) before I bought the Tide 2X with a touch of Downy. After 3 days of using it I broke out in a horrible rash. Little red bumps that itch intensely all over my arms back, neck, stomach, chest.I’ve tried steroid cream and I’m on an anti-histamine with no relief. I’ve decided to use Eucerine cream. Iwashed my clothes 3 times already and I think the detergent remnants are still in my clothes. This rash is from the devil and it must go in the name of Jesus! The people at Tide don’t seem to care. They won’t even reimburse me my money for the Tide. They want to send me a couppon for some more!!! There is no way I’ll ever buy Tide again! Any suggestions to get rid of this horrible rash?

  10. 10 Lisa March 4, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    YES. Don’t worry. I took XYZAL (an antihistamine, I can’t take zyrtec because it made me too sleepy) for 5 months, and it completely cleared up. So don’t worry, this stuff takes a long time to get rid of. and I hate to say it but I bought a bunch of new clothes and it helped. GOOD LUCK.

  11. 11 maggieks March 4, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Update: March 4, 2009
    As this is a PR blog, and not a product support blog, I’ve closed comments. Thanks to you who have responded. I think it still stands as an illustration that from a public relations viewpoint, all corporate communicators need to be responsive to their customers’ comments.

    Thanks,

    Maggie


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