Just Asking

What should Mattel do to regain consumer trust?

A nice sunburst on the packaging screaming, “Now with less lead paint!” should do the trick. —John Kearse, vp, cd, Arnold, Boston

They have to assure the American public that they are putting in quality control systems in all of their product checks. —Michael Mohamad, svp, marketing partnerships, new business development, A&E Television Networks, New York

Mattel should select a dozen consumers representing each of its key demographic segments and establish a Consumer Safety Forum to review quality assurance practices. Mattell should also enable customers to rank toy safety and provide results online and on packaging. Research shows that customer rankings drive purchases, particularly online. This will help the company recover long term and put the focus back on its consumers. —Maria Lopez-Knowles, svp, MRM Worldwide, San Francisco

Mattel should become the industry leader in enforcing lead paint checks on toys entering the U.S.—or bring out a fast-talking Attorney Barbie. —Alon Shoval, evp, cd, Hill, Holliday, New York

Mattel needs to go back to the key values that it represents to its consumers and speak to them on those terms. Reiterate Mattel’s commitment to the quality and safety of its products and be honest and clear about what it will do/is doing differently to avoid any future mishaps. Reminding consumers of their (hopefully) long-term and positive relationships with Mattel and its history . . . as a trusted brand is important too, but rebuilding that trust will require accountability and a commitment to improve processes moving forward. It worked for Tylenol. This will also be a key factor in regaining the trust and goodwill of distribution outlets. —Gabrielle Magnani, evp, marketing and brand management, Horizon Media, New York