Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Finally, Someone Did It Right

Zhu Zhu Pets came under attack a week ago by the consumer protection website and within 24-hours ZhuZhu manufacturer Cepia, LLC went on the offensive.

The company launched an aggressive and fact-based crisis communication plan that was based on the idea "they had nothing to hide," and using traditional media, they drove concerned parents and grandparents to their web site with reassuring information about the safety of their product.

At the same time, Cepia contacted their distributors and toy stores, such as Toys R Us to give them information they could use and to reassure them the toy was safe.

Then, Cepia was able to capitalize on third-party endorsers, including the US Consumer Product Safety Commission which quickly declared the toys met all federal safety standards.

Cepia also took advantage of their core of "mommy bloggers" that helped promote the toy in its initial launch.

It didn't hurt any that the toy industry, as a whole, had a stake in this fight. Cepia vice-president of marketing Natalie Hornsby was quick to point out that the entire toy industry has very high safety standards.

Toy marketing experts predict the "bump in the road" for the mechanical hamster will be minor and Hornsby says they still expect to sell 6-million ZhuZhu pets by the end of this year.

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