Thomas Cook Q&A: how not to manage a crisis

What has happened at Thomas Cook?

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The Independent Online

What has happened at travel group Thomas Cook?

Yesterday the firm said it will donate the compensation it received over two children’s deaths in Corfu in 2006 to children’s charity Unicef.

What was the compensation for?

Thomas Cook in 2013 and 2014 received £1.5m in connection with a settlement with Louis Group. It was in relation to a case brought by Thomas Cook against Louis Group relating to the tragic incident where Christianne and Robert Shepherd died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Why is Thomas Cook attracting negative publicity?

Last week an inquest in Wakefield gave a conclusion of unlawful killing. It was deemed that Thomas Cook’s health and safety audit was inadequate, but accepted the company had been misled by the hotel about its gas supply.

A criminal trial was held in Greece in 2010 and it cleared Thomas Cook of any responsibility. But it came under fire after the parents of the children that died claimed they had not received an apology from Thomas Cook until Sunday, when the compensation was made public.

Why no apology earlier?

Public relations teams working in and for the company may have been constrained. Some people think Thomas Cook may have regarded their lawyers’ advice as more important than anything else.

What are the consequences for Thomas Cook?

Thomas Cook’s shares were down 3.22 per cent to 156.1p yesterday and some believe it may suffer brand damage for not coming across as more compassionate business earlier.

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