21. A rash of rashes: Alerting clothing customers to potential skin irritation. Sewn-in clothing tags carry essential information about size and garment care, but no matter where they are located inside a garment, they seem to have a knack for poking and scratching. Pestered consumers consequently welcomed the switch by many clothing makers to tagless labels, in which information is printed directly on the fabric, and no physical tag is sewn into the garment. Carter’s, one of the leading manufacturers and retailers of children’s clothing, is one of those companies. Unfortunately, a small number of parents have contacted Carter’s to complain that their children have developed rashes where their skin came in contact with a tagless label.
Your task: Write an announcement for Carter’s website, explaining that the company has heard some reports of babies whose skin appeared to be irritated by the tagless labels. Cover the following points: (1) the situation applies only to clothes from the fall 2007 product line, in which the tagless label has a solid white printed background on which the label text is printed (as opposed to newer and older garments, in which the label text is printed directly on the fabric, without the solid background); (2) of the 100 million garments sold in the fall 2007 line, the company has received only 400 complaints of rashes; (3) based on a thorough analysis by the company, its suppliers, and several independent doctors and other specialists, Carter’s has found that the labels contain no known skin irritants or abrasive chemicals, and the problem seems to affect only a very small number of children with sensitive skin; (4) because the problem is so limited in scope and the skin rashes are not serious, after discussions with the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, the company has opted not to recall the clothes but is instead advising parents of affected children to switch to other garments; and (5) as is always the case with Carter’s clothes, consumers can return unsatisfactory products for a full refund. You will be able to show two comparative photos on the website to help consumers identify the garments in question, one showing clothes from the fall 2007 line, with the solid-background labels, and one showing a newer line of clothes that have a different label style.
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