Mattel Inc

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Question One: Do manufacturers of products for children have special responsibilities to consumers and society? What are these responsibilities and how well has Mattel met them? Provide evidence of Mattel’s strengths and weaknesses in this area.

Yes. As Mattel’s products are designed primarily for children, it must be sensitive to societal concerns about children’s rights.
Strengths
Responsibility towards the community * Mattel recognizes international environment, different legal systems and cultural expectations, and the use of technology especially with regard to consumer privacy and has taken steps to strengthen its commitment to business ethics and social responsibility. * Mattel recently published its first “Corporate
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Targeting children with internet sites, however, brings about extra concerns. Mattel must be very careful to protect their legal and moral reputations by respecting the privacy of the children and their families, which is put in jeopardy every time the website asks a minor to provide information.

Lack of total control over business partners
Though Mattel has embarked on the Global manufacturing Principles (GMP) and regular social audits, Mattel cannot intensively monitor the business processes and activities of its partners. There is no guarantee that its business partners will completely comply with Mattel’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), ethical business conducts and product safety requirements. Mattel somehow could be facing legal actions and criticisms from various stakeholders around the world.

Question Two: Comment on the strengths and weaknesses of Mattel’s core brands (Barbie and American Girl). In looking at Barbie specifically, has Mattel’s success with the American Girl collection cannibalized sales from Barbie? Explain.
Strength
Brand Recognition * Barbie is Mattel’s flagship brand and its number one seller-routinely accounting for more than 50 percent of Mattel’s sales revenue. * Barbie was the only Mattel brand that made the list of the 2002 “The 100 Best Global Brand”. * American Girl is targeted for girls in from 7 –

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