Q&A: Kryptonite’s Close Call

The name "Kryptonite" could not have been more appropriate for a
case that demonstrated how the blogosphere can bring an otherwise
strong company to its knees. Late last year, Kryptonite (Canton,
Mass.) had to recall nearly 40,000 of its industry- standard U-Lock
bike locks after it was posted on the Web -- and quickly spread
throughout the blogosphere -- that anyone can easily break the
locks with a ballpoint pen (PR News, Feb 23). A subsequent exchange
program cost Kryptonite an estimated $10 million (as of late
February) but the costs of embarrassment cannot be calculated.
PR News recently spoke with Steve Down, Kryptonite's general
manager, about the new business realities brought on by
bloggers.