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Mattel Brand Hurt By Recalls

With Mattel ordering recall after recall, its brand is beginning to pay the price, MediaPost reports.

Robert Passikoff, founder of Brand Keys, says that most brands can weather one recall fairly well. Mattel’s Brand Keys measure declined just seven percent after the first recall in early August. After yesterday’s recall it’s already down 20 percent.

Mattel announced recalls Tuesday in the U.S. aimed at removing more than 18 million toys from store shelves and homes because of lead paint and tiny magnets that could be swallowed by small children, Forbes reports. The global recall for toys containing lead paint now includes 436,000 Chinese-made “Sarge” cars based on the character from the movie “Cars.” The expansion of the recall list came nearly two weeks after Mattel recalled 1.5 million Chinese-made Fisher-Price toys because of possible lead-paint hazards.

From now on, Passikoff predicts consumers will hold Mattel – and not some nameless, faceless Chinese factory – accountable, according to the article. Brand erosion is an especially big problem for Mattel because consumer expectations about products made for children are higher. 

“We have immediately implemented a strengthened three-point check system: First, we’re requiring that only paint from certified suppliers be used and requiring every single batch of paint at every single vendor to be tested,” said Jim Walter, senior vice president of Worldwide Quality Assurance, Mattel, following yesterday’s recall. “If it doesn’t pass, it doesn’t get used. Second, we are tightening controls throughout the production process at vendor facilities and increasing unannounced random inspections. Third, we’re testing every production run of finished toys to ensure compliance before they reach our customers. We’ve met with vendors to ensure they understand our tightened procedures and our absolute requirement of strict adherence to them.”

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