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Toy Recall – Little Tikes Uses New Media and Social Networking to Disseminate Safety Information

In New media, Product recall on August 13, 2009 at 9:09 am

Little Tikes has recalled its toy workshop sets and trucks due plastic toy nails that can pose a choking hazard to young children. To remedy the situation, the company states that “consumers should immediately take the toy nails away from young children and contact the firm for instructions on obtaining a free replacement toy nail.”

Little Tikes

To disseminate the recall information, Little Tikes provides a variety recall and safety information on its corporate website as well as the Little Tikes Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace accounts–including background information about the safety hazard, images and product specs for quick identification of products included in the recall, and even a video.Overall, the company has done a good job of using new media and social networking.

First, the company posts the exact wording from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) official release. This fulfills the CPSC’s second guideline for posting recall information on a corporate website: “On the recall page, include only the product recall information and no sales or marketing information. Include all text (verbatim) in the CPSC/Company joint press release and a color photo of the recalled products. Firms can scan in the CPSC–issued joint press release.”

What’s more interesting and useful is the video that the company includes as part of the product recall web page, which includes important technical information as well as a demonstration of where consumers can find the plastic toy nails and how to remove them from each product in the recall.

In addition, Little Tikes makes use of social networking sites posted a link to the recall on its Twitter account.
Little Tikes Twitter

The company also posted about the recall on its Facebook page and provided a link for consumers to learn more.
Little Tikes Facebook

And, finally, the company posted about the recall on its MySpace blog.
Little Tikes MySpace

The only real complaint with the website delivery strategy is that a link or callout to the recall page isn’t prominently displayed. According to the CPSC’s guidelines, the website should “have a separate ‘button’ or ‘icon’ or ‘scrolling message’ entitled Recall Safety Information to directly link the home page to a separate recall information page.” Moreover, the button or link should appear “in a highly visible location on the home page or first entry point to the firm’s web page. Consumers should not have to scroll vertically or laterally on the home page, or otherwise search for the information on the recall.”

As it stands now, consumers need to scroll to the bottom of the page and find the one-word “Recalls” link buried in a string of Customer Service links. For a company that has done such a good job using the new media tools available on their website as well as social networking to disseminate the recall information, I would have expected to see the recall link placed more prominently on the company’s home page.

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