What Went Wrong at Mattel – Christopher Palmeri

BusinessWeek takes a look at how Mattel ended up producing unsafe toys and issuing a massive recall, especially since the company is frequently held up as a model of how to operate overseas while respecting product safety and workers’ rights:

FactaMattel is not just another company suffering because it uses low-cost Chinese suppliers. The company goes to great lengths to try to ensure that the companies it does business with operate properly and ethically, even subjecting them to outside audits. Mattel’s recalls illustrate how difficult it is for a multinational company, despite its best efforts, to keep tabs on all sorts of suppliers around the globe. The company has had at least 15 product recalls in the past five years, from jewelry at its American Girl doll business that contained lead to a Batmobile with dangerously pointy tail wings. [Full text]

See also a New York Times article, written before the latest recall, lauding Mattel’s manufacturing practices in China.

[Image: CCTOYS factory in Dongguan, a supplier for Mattel, from their web site]


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