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Bad apple in the industry leaves a nasty taste

I felt I had to write to express my sympathy with Mark Howard for the

gruelling experience he went through in court in the name of integrity

(Money Marketing, April 6).

Time and time again, the maggot from the bad apple in the crop crawls out

to damage the company which has worked hard at its image, has projected the

caring customer focus expected and set up all the right processes and

procedures to ensure compliance. Why then does this bad apple still exist?

And can we do more to prevent it appearing in the premium crop?

One solution is to make the bad apple feel extremely uncomfortable in

his/her environment and to make it difficult to operate other than in the

most ethical fashion.

Companies need to be viewed as “safe” by their customers and therefore

must develop, enhance and maintain a first-class reputation. Best-practice,

leading-edge companies must have the working and operating environment to

ensure that their reputations will not be tarnished by things which can be


New legislation, in the form of the whistleblowing provisions of the

Public Order Disclosure Act, gives greater protection to employees who

raise a concern regarding something intrinsically awry in a company. To

avoid the unscrupulous mischief-making employee from creating havoc, a

company would be much better positioned if it had an internal programme

which flushed out problem areas, weaknesses, broken processes or lack of


A full and trusted internal programme enabling a company to control these

issues would avoid negative publicity or at least minimise it, avoid two

days&#39 interrogation in court justifying its actions and will actually

enhance its reputation by being seen to be proactive to applying

closed-loop principles.

The 99.9 per cent of prime-crop apples will understand that they are

working for an honest, caring and ethical company. This will enhance hiring

and retention policies. Economic value of the company is maximised and

customers feel safe.

Sandra Basaran

Managing Director


London SW1


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