Mattel & Toy Safety Essay

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Case Study : Mattel and Toy Safety
Business Ethics

Do you believe that Mattel acted in a socially responsible and ethical manner with regard to the safety of its toys? Why or why not? What should or could Mattel have done differently, if anything?

I believe that Mattel acted in a socially responsible and ethical manner regarding the safety issue in 2007.   According to the case study and given factors, Mattel has always held a reputation of being a good corporate citizen.   In 1997, Mattel had developed the Global Manufacturing Principles which is a detailed code of conduct that primarily focused on working conditions. It did not exclude the steps to ensure that the product and safety of toys being manufactured in China. Global Manufacturing Principles covered Mattel factories and those of its contractors and suppliers.   To ensure that these principles were being properly executed, Mattel hired S. Prakash Sethi.   His role was to carry out independent audits to assure compliance with these standards.   These audits were conducted at least once every three years.   Over the years, these audits have contributed to the dismissal of several dozen suppliers for noncompliance and numerous changes in its plants.   When Mattel, in July 2007, learned of the problems of lead paint in their product and magnets that could be swallowed by children   causing serious health issues, they acted quickly by issuing voluntary recalls one after another starting on August 1, 2007.   Over a year after the recalls it was reported that Mattel had recalled a total of 21 million toys from China as a result of the lead paint and magnets.   In December 2008, Mattel reached a settlement with 39 states to pay $12 million dollars. The interesting part is that the money is to be used to educate the public about the dangers of lead paint and lead poisoning.   In more recent years Mattel is still acting socially responsible and ethically.   In 2009, Mattel established a Global Citizenship Report.   It...

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