Analyzing Mattel's Foreclosure Crisis

Decent Essays
In July 2007, Mattel discovered that a substantial amount of their toys were contaminated with toxic lead paint after shipping out millions of toys to supply the upcoming holiday season. A crisis is defined as “the perception of an unpredictable event that threatens important expectancies of stakeholders and can seriously impact an organization’s performance and generate negative outcomes” (Coombs, 2012). Under this standard, Mattel were facing a crisis by violating their stakeholder’s expectation of product quality standards. Mattel effectively managed this lead crisis in the following ways: Mattel open a self-investigation on their supply chain and recalled 1.5 million toys to ensure children and the public safety; Mattel had a crisis management…show more content…
Mattel sought out to maintain open communication with the media and their stakeholders during their crisis response, and it started with an apology from its CEO Robert Eckert via video. On August 16, 2007, Eckert issued a video apology direct at parents in efforts to sustain the parents’ trust in their products. In the video, Eckert emphasized that he is a parent as well and understands nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of children. He addressed the recalls and outlined specifically how the company already implemented stricter safety procedures. Also, Eckert pledged to address any future recalls quickly and candidly (CNN, 2007). Mattel continue to reach out to the media and the public by immediately notifying reporters, news outlets, and sent out press releases to inform the public of the recall. Mattel also placed ads about the recall in newspapers such as New York Times and Wall Street Journal (Briguet, 2013). Additional, Mattel composed an online campaign that consisted of a crisis response website with updated recall information. Consumers were fully informed and were given a link to information direct from the company (Briguet, 2013). Mattel’s efforts in communicating often and sincerely helped retailers and parents feel the company truly understood it had violated trust and that it was determined to make it right…show more content…
Mattel’s response to the lead tainted toys crisis exemplifies the importance of having a strong, updated crisis management and communication plan that reflects the company’s culture and values. Companies, in the future, should look to Mattel’s response as a model for planning and responding to
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