Ken splits with Barbie over packaging habit

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Barbie, one of the world's most iconic toys, found herself the target of environmentalists and Ken's wrath in a new campaign, which accuses the doll's manufacturer - Mattel - of using packaging created from Indonesia's depleted rainforests.

The campaign launched on June 7,  orchestrated by environmental campaign group Greenpeace, includes a mock video interview with Barbie's long-term partner Ken, and a dedicated website and Facebook page featuring Ken's image with the words "Barbie it's over; I don't date girls that are into deforestation."

Via Greenpeace's dedicated Facebook page, users of the social networking site can also change their profile picture to 'angry Ken', 'unlike Barbie' and send an email to the CEO of Mattel.

Greenpeace activists also unveiled a banner bearing the 'Barbie it's over' slogan on Mattel's LA headquarters, an act that caught the attention of American media outlets including the LA Times.

The campaign stems from an accusation by Greenpeace that Mattel is indirectly destroying Indonesia's rainforests in order to produce packaging for toys through a partnership with Indonesian pulp and paper company APP. Other companies involved with APP, including Disney, Hasbro and Lego, are also subject to accusations, by Greenpeace, of contributing to deforestation in the country.  

In response to these accusations Mattel released a statement claiming they "have been in communication with Greenpeace on ... paper sourcing issues" and are "surprised and disappointed they [Greenpeace] have taken this inflammatory response." More information about Mattel's corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts can be found on their website.

APP released a statement saying they "meet the legal requirements for all countries to which we distribute our products throughout the world. Additionally we follow the legal guidelines of the Government of Indonesia."

The accusations come at a bad time for Mattel, which intends to begin shipping Barbie's latest professional incarnation, Architect Barbie, on August 15. Architect Barbie is available to pre-order via Mattel's e-commerce site for around $13.99 (€9.54).

Mock Ken interview - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txa-XcrVpvQ
Greenpeace ‘Ken' website - http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/the-breakup
Greenpeace Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/greenpeace.international?sk=app_105552609534948
Mattel's CSR website -  http://corporate.mattel.com/about-us/corporate-responsibility.aspx
Mattel's website - http://www.mattel.com/

 

 

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