Thursday, September 6, 2007
Mattel Emphasizes Corrective Action
The largest manufacturer of children’s toys, Mattel, issued a voluntary recall of several toy lines due to small digestible magnets and indications of lead-based paint.
Although the official recall notices issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are not intended as instances of apologies, they do include “remedy” sections that focus on corrective action.
Furthermore, in the video posted by Mattel on its website, chairman and chief executive officer Robert Eckert offers an apology, but focuses more on corrective action. In the video, he says:
“We apologize again to everyone affected and promise that we will continue to focus on ensuring the safety and quality of our toys.”
In addition, the video and the news release by Mattel both emphasize a “3-stage safety check” that will be used to ensure safety going forward.
The approach by Mattel highlights the need for future studies of the differences between official recall notices that offer accounts and corrective action (but not apologies) versus damage control recall strategies employed in new media and press releases that offer an obligatory “apology” while focusing mostly on the corrective action.