WA#3 Prompt Fall 2018.pdf

Objective 3 take responsibility for the recall solve

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Objective 3: Take responsibility for the recall. Solve the problem while maintaining a stable relationship with China. Crisis Plan When Mattel realized its company was facing a very serious problem, it first contacted the federal agency that oversees toy problems and product safety. It then opened a 100-page crisis plan. The fact that the company had a product defect and difficulty with its supplier made this recall a problem within its control. When federal officials announced the first Mattel recall, 16 public relations personnel immediately called reporters at the top 40 media outlets. They told reporters about a teleconference with executives and allowed the media to schedule TV appearances or phone conversations with top personnel at Mattel. The day of the recall, Robert Eckert, the CEO of Mattel did 14 interviews on television and took 20 calls from reporters. Mattel answered over 300 media requests in the United States by the end of the week. The company took out full-page ads in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal as well. Mattel also launched a massive online crusade to inform people about the recall. A link to a crisis response website was set up on its webpage right away and updates were posted regularly. Webcasts and search engine marketing, also known as pay per click marketing, were used as well. There are a few reports (and a lawsuit) that claim Mattel knew about the defects of its products long before its announcement to the public, but since announcing it, Mattel has constantly been open with the media and its customers. It claims that although it has very high standards and thorough quality and safety testing procedures, “no system can be perfect.” Mattel also made it clear that it is doing all that it can to assess the situation on the manufacturing level. Apology to China Mattel’s toy recalls spurred a wave of China-bashing in the media across the world. This greatly damaged China’s manufacturing reputation around the globe. But much of the criticism may have been unwarranted. Many manufacturers in China claimed they were being blamed for design flaws created by Mattel. On September 20, 2007, with lawyers present, Mattel issued a carefully-worded apology to China in a meeting with Li Changjiang, the Chinese product safety chief. The apology was given by Mattel’s executive vice president for worldwide operations, Thomas A. Debrowski. In part of the apology, Debrowski said “Mattel takes full responsibility for these recalls and apologizes personally to you, the Chinese people, and all of our customers who received the toys.” The apology also took responsibility for Mattel’s design flaws, a problem that encompassed a majority of the recalled products and admitted that toys affected by the lead-based paint were a very small percentage of the toys recalled. China accepted the apology, but Li said that Mattel “should value our cooperation. I really hope
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that Mattel can learn lessons and gain experience from these incidents, [and they should] improve their control measures.”
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  • Fall '18
  • Board of Mattel

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