06 November 2007

Life-threatning but company remains silent

No word from an Australian toy manufacturer about a life-threatening situation for children.

The manufacturer of Bindeez Beads, the Australian Toy of the Year (2007), has not made any statement, despite its product apparently being responsible for the hospitalisation of at least three children who swallowed the beads, which contains an ingredient known as GBH, an ingredient in ecstasy.

The product has been banned in NSW, the ACT, South Australia and Western Australia, after two children suffered seizures.

To show how bad news travels fast, TV New Zealand reported: "Testing by scientists in NSW found the chemical link to the drug gamma-hydroxy butyrate (GHB) - also known as fantasy or Grievous Bodily Harm - which can also cause drowsiness, coma and death."

With the story many hours old, the company responsible, Moose Enterprises, had not taken it from their web site (9.46pm EST). That's outrageous. And still no word from the company.

You'd think in this day and age, companies would be prepared, even with just a statement to express concern.

But to not even take the product down from their web site. Unbelievable.

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The PR Lab is a consultancy, specialising on research, reputation management, social media, media relations and the development of measurable strategies that produce results. It is run by Dr Greg Smith, a former journalist and PR professional. Greg worked on daily newspapers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. He held senior PR positions in the Australian Defence Force, Sydney Olympics and national not-for-profits. He has also lectured in PR at Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame Australia.