Archive for the 'Bob Eckert' Category

Mattel — A PR Fiasco?

Like many around the world, I grew up being familiar with Mattel toys. It’s a brand that communicates oodles of fun, loads of creativity, and implicit in all these, are that its products are safe even for young children. The nightmare the company has faced with product recalls and a string of apologies has been well-documented.

How did Mattel fare? In China, certainly the state-owned media seem to have injected their own take on the issue. Michael Netzley of Singapore Management University shared his view that Mattel may have lost some control of its message in that market.

That aside, my own view is that on Mattel’s own communication platform–it’s corporate website–it has done a rather laudable job. On the front page is a link to a message from Bob Eckert, its Chairman and CEO, communicating his empathy and commitment to earn back its customers’ trust. More importantly, there is a prominently displayed link to a website–updated in more than 15 languages–explaining what Mattel is doing to assure the safety of its products, an FAQ, a link to media statements, and a videocast from Eckert apologizing for the situation and reiterating his personal commitment to product safety and getting customers to trust Mattel again. A link to Mattel’s customer service portal brings the public to media and consumer relations contacts in key markets around the world.

How did you think Mattel handled the situation in terms of issues and crisis management? And as far as Mattel’s own website is concerned, how do you think it fared in terms of getting the message out and being transparent?


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