Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mattel Bends Over For The Chinese

Thank You Sir, May I Have Another!!! Kevin Bacon, Animal house

"Mattel (MAT) takes full responsibility for these recalls and apologizes personally to you, the Chinese people, and all of our customers who received the toys," said Mattel executive Tom Debrowski. Oh do you?

I would personally love to see the "design flaw" that said "cover toys with deadly levels of lead paint". When I first heard it I thought it was a sarcastic joke. How much pressure are the Chinese putting on Mattel to cause them to publicly cane themselves? How high were the lead levels? Tests had found that lead levels in paint in recalled toys were as high as 110,000 parts per million, or nearly 200 times higher than the accepted safety ceiling of 600 parts per million. Now, it has been pointed out that only 13% of the 21 million toys were recalled due to lead paint but, the question must be asked, why did Mattel apologize for that?

This has to be without a doubt one of the most pathetic acts a corporation has ever done in the name of the almighty dollar. China, getting sick of being bashed most likely told Mattel to apologize or get your toys somewhere else. Rather than pay a few bucks more for a Elmo doll from Thailand, Mattel promptly caved.

It is nice to see that the apology they gave the producers of the toxic toys the same sincerity they gave us consumers whose children may have played with and been damaged by them. Sweet huh? This act really does mitigate the effects of any previous ones, doesn't it. This is like a beaten spouse saying "I deserved it, dinner is a 5pm not 5:15". Pathetic

At least to date the other company effected, RC2 (RCRC) has yet to ask forgiveness from the Chinese for the lead coated Thomas the Tank Engine toys they sent them earlier this summer.

Mattel, world's largest toy maker has been in China for 25 years and about 65 percent of its products are made in China. This summer it recalled 21 million toys made in China for various reason.

If you do not believe my reasoning for the apology take a look at this exchange.

Chinese product safety chief Li Changjiang publicly reminded Debrowski that "a large part of your annual profit ... comes from your factories in China. He then added, "I really hope that Mattel can learn lessons and gain experience from these incidents," adding that Mattel should "improve their control measures."

Or, grow some stones...


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