Do manufactures of products for children have special obligations to consumers and society? If so, what are these responsibilities? Because of the company’s product and designs primary for children, it must be sensitive to social concern about children’s right: By assuring parents that their children’s privacy will be respected, mattel demonstrated that it takes its responsibility of marketing to children seriously.
In 2007, Mattel conduct entitled Global Manufacturing principles. In this principle, Mattel’s business partners must ensure high standard for product safety and quality, adhering to practices that meet Mattel’s safety and quality standards, make sure that the entire product will not be harmful to the children. Partners must also comply with all import and export regulation and they must strictly adhere to local and international customs law. An example of Mattel responsibility to the children is the Mattel children foundation which is found in 1998.
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The gift was mean to support the existing hospital and provide for a new state-of-art-facility. To the society, the company is not using any child labor, forced labor or uses any type of that labor itself. The company stated that it does not tolerate discrimination, the employee should be hire according to their ability to complete the job, not their believe or characteristics II. HOW EFFECTIVE HAS MATTEL BEEN AT ENCOURAGING ETHICAL AND LEGAL CONDUCT BY ITS MANUFACTURERS? WHAT CHANGES AND ADDITIONS WOULD YOU MAKE TO THE COMPANY’S GLOBAL MANUFACTURING PRINCIPLE?
All partners must respect the intellectual property of the company, and support Mattel in the protection of asset. Mattel always required its business partner s to commit with their high ethical standards for product safety and quality. But in recent years, some standards have been seriously violated, such as using child labor in some overseas company. Those companies were later on asked to change their operation or risk losing Mattel’s business or being punished by legal department or suited by Mattel or the customers.
In order to encourage their partner, they also conducted the Global Manufacturing Principles. Here are some of my recommendations for Mattel’s Global Manufacturing Principles: 1. Make sure the contractors and subcontractor use the right facilities for Mattel’s products. 2. Maintain the supervisor 3. All the products must be tested carefully to make sure that they not violated to any cultural ethic and ensure their safety III. TO WHAT EXTENT IS MATTEL RESPONSIBLE FOR ISSUES RELATED TO ITS PRODUCTION OF TOYS IN CHINA? HOW MIGHT HAVE MATTEL ADVOID THESE ISSUES? 007 was a bad year for Mattel. Despite Mattel’s best effort, not all oversea manufactures have faithfully adhered to its high standard, forcing Mattel to make two huge toys recall. The re called toys sold by Mattel was for various health hazards. Among them were toys that contained magnets and lead paint Small magnets used in toys can fall out and be swallowed or aspirated. Intestinal or blockage can occur, if more than on magnet is swallowed. Lead is extremely toxic and can create numerous health problems when swallowed or inhaled in large level.
The paint used in recalled products was not certified for use according to Mattel standards. In my opinion, the Chinese contractors had violated the commitment between two companies by using lead paint. But, we cannot say that Mattel is not responsible for this issue. Firstly we should talk about its three points paint check system: 1. Mattel only use paint from certificated suppliers. Every batch from every vendor is tested. Any batches not passing the test will not be used. 2. The production process controls are for vendors and random unannounced inspections are implemented. . All finished toy produced are tested before they get to the customers. As we can see, that a very strict check system but why those harmful toys could still pass through and went to the market? It’s clearly that using lead paint is bad but let those toys get to the customer isn’t it worst? If I own a car toy factory and I allow my neighbor to produce my car and my neighbor use toxic paint to paint them then we are both in the wrong. So both Mattel and the Chinese contractor are equally to blame. Mattel also have problems with their design, the magnet fall out too easy.
As they are losing their reputation and subcontractors, Mattel should really do something to avoid these issues. In my opinion, firstly, Mattel should improve its design and carefully exam the toy before launch them out. Secondly, they should also improve their supervisor over the products and make sure all of them pass the high standards request. Thirdly, Mattel should investigate contractors and audit the subcontractor and if necessary, provide them the information about their product high standard and safety. IV.
SHOULD MATTEL RECEIVE CONTROL OF MGA’S BRAZT DOLLS? IF SO, WHAT ACTIONS SHOULD MATTEL TAKE REGARDING BRAZT? Brazt is really the first doll to successfully compete against the massively successful Barbie franchise in ages. The Brazt ranges of doll have affected the sale of Mattel’s leading product: Barbie and decreased by %6 The battle began when Mattel had an investigation and found out that: Carter Bryant, the designer of the Brazt range, who was then working for MGA, had conceived the ideas of Brazt while he was at Mattel.
Matte then suited MGA to gain the control over Brazt. A judge earlier judged that MGA had develop the doll from the intellectual property that belonged to Mattel and so, he ordered that Mattel take over the manufacture and sale of the doll after the Christmas season. In my opinion, even if you state that the concept of the doll was created at Mattel, at best you could make an argument that Mattel had some right to an injunction and profit from the first generation of the doll.
The judge not only ruled MGA to stop selling and manufacturing Brazt but also have to hand over all sort of confident info includes: all related product, customers’ info and especially the 2010 plan… That is difficult to see any fairness at all for forcing them hand over the future plan that have nothing to do with the created while at Mattel. MGA was then faced a critical situation: they are forced to collect and destroy all Brazt dolls that are in the market.
MGA had investigated it would have to spent about $10 million or $20 million to do so. But in December 9, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals essentially stopped the process. The court ruled the MGA can continue to sell their Brazt dolls that are currently on the market until the next judgment is made. The court also indicated that the order transferring ownership of the Bratz trademark and copyright from MGA to Mattel was “drastic,” and questioned why Mattel wasn’t simply given a royalty or ownership stake in MGA’s Bratz franchise.
The appellate judges also ordered Mattel and MGA to mediation. In other words, the two companies should try to sort it out themselves. MGA then paid US $100 million (instead of US$500 million as Mattel sued MGA for) in damages, citing that only the first generation of Bratz had infringed on Mattel property and that MGA had innovated and evolved the product significantly enough that subsequent generations of Bratz could not be conclusively found to be infringing.
I think that would be the best solution for both Mattel and MGA because Brazt has been in the market for a long time and is going to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Customers love Brazt and they don’t want to lose them or changed them. After this affair some customers say they don’t want Barbie anymore because Mattel was just being selfish and it seems like they simply trying to stop competition. As so, in my opinion, Mattel should work out a deal with MGA in which MGA can continue sell Brazt dolls as long as Mattel share in some of the profits.
REFENRENCES: Case study 6, “Mattel responds to Ethical Challenges”, p3, 4,5,6,7. Mike Masnick, 2009, “Why Mattel Get Future Should Plans For New Bratz Dolls? “Accessed 1 May 5, 2010. ( http://www. techdirt. com/articles/20090527/0143345018. shtml) Bonnie Fitzgerald, “Made in China: Mattel Recalls toys for safety issues “accessed 1 May 5, 2010 (http://www. helium. com/items/608895-made-in-china-mattel-recalls-toys-for-safety-issues)