Bad PR vs. Legal Compliance

Andy asks Ty, Inc., makers of the Beanie Babies line whether they are “evil, selfish, or stupid?” I’m wondering if it’s not all three.

CHICAGO (AP) — A popular toy maker is refusing to pull a lead-tainted doll from store shelves across Illinois, challenging a state law governing lead content in toys, the state says.

Ty Inc., best known for its Beanie Babies, says federal law takes precedence over the Illinois statute.

The state is considering suing Ty, based in Westmont, to force the company to comply.

“They sell very popular products that children love,” Cara Smith, an aide to Attorney General Lisa Madigan, told the Chicago Tribune. “It would be our expectation that they would step up and do what they can to make sure their products don’t contain lead.”

The state became aware of the lead in Jammin’ Jenna dolls — not part of the Beanie Babies line — after the Chicago Tribune tested red vinyl shoes on three of the dolls and found all three exceeded Illinois lead limits.

Seriously, who thinks this is acceptable behavior? Let’s assume that every person in their PR department was sick. Let’s assume that everyone else in the company was hungover from last night’s bender, perhaps even still a little drunk. Tell me how this isn’t an error so tragic you find yourself embarrassed on their behalf.

Sure, they finally pulled the products but clearly not by choice… they were shamed into it. Not exactly inspirational.


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