So responded Sears’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Brennan to allegations that Sears Auto Centers had a fraudulent policy by which its customers regularly paid for repairs that they really did not need-in some cases more than $500 worth of repairs. The allegations plunged Sears into a public relations crisis that threatened to damage its image of trust (Benoit, 1995b; Fisher, 1992a, p. D1). This loss of trust subsequently made vulnerable the economic viability of its auto repair business, which saw a 15% drop in the 2 weeks that followed the allegations (Sears Opens Ad Assault, 1992, p. A10).