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Dreamworld - should they or shouldn't they?

17th Nov 16

By Geoffrey Stackhouse, Managing Director, Clarity Solutions

It's more than three weeks since the terrible tragedy at Dreamworld and exactly a fortnight since the PR disaster that was the live broadcast of the Parent company Ardent Leisure's AGM.

They've been out of the spotlight for a while since they finally stopped giving media juicy new angles to report on. Well almost - you might have missed a cheeky update they snuck while the world was reeling from the reality of Trump's election win. 

It was cheeky because they tried to bury it in big news day. But also because they flagged an eventual reopening and the closure of the fatal Rapid Thunder ride. With losses estimated at up to $300,000 per day, they need to stem the haemorrhage before Ardent bleeds to death.

So when do you think they should reopen and what would it take to convince you to trust them?

Please take our four question survey here and share your views. We'll summarise the findings and report back next week. 

In the meantime, you might like to ponder the recovery efforts of three other damaged brands:

Qantas: Immediately after the A380 incident on November 4 2010, Qantas grounded the fleet until they were confident the planes were safe. 20 days later Qantas announced they'd be back in service with the first scheduled flight 24 days after the grounding. Result: Passengers trusted the brand.

Masterfoods: In 2007 Masterfoods' Mars and Snickers chocolate bars were recalled across NSW after threats of product tampering. They never caught the bad guy but Mars Bars were back on the shelf 6 weeks later with a high profile re-launch once focus groups said they'd buy a Mars Bar again. Result: Customers trusted the brand - they recorded a 600% boost in sales in the months after it was restocked. 

Malaysian Airlines: When MH370 disappeared on March 8 2014 the company renamed the route MH318 - just seven days later. The number, 318, was a tribute to the lives lost on that flight. Hit by a second tragedy four months later the brand was considered a write off and while management considered rebranding they did nothing for two years. Result: After loosing billions of dollars management say the carrier has turned around, it's stemmed the losses to 'just' A$500m in 2016 and should be profitable again by 2018. 

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Lessons from the Nightmare at Dreamworld

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