Resources Available to Members for Toy Safety Media Inquiries
November 8, 2021 | NGOs have historically taken advantage of the holiday season – and the public’s heightened interest in toys – to publish reports on allegedly “harmful toys” to avoid. These reports often overlook the important fact that legitimate toys are strictly regulated and among the safest consumer products found in the home.
The Toy Association positions itself on the frontlines of these conversations by undertaking strategic communications efforts to counter false NGO claims; assuring consumers that safety is the toy industry’s top priority; and spreading awareness about PlaySafe.org, which offers parents and caregivers trustworthy safety information, including tips for how to avoid unsafe counterfeit products lurking online.
If a Toy Association member company’s product is included in one of these NGO lists, The Toy Association’s communications team is available to provide counsel on appropriate actions to take. Companies that are contacted by reporters in search for comment are encouraged to pass the inquiry to The Toy Association, which can supply the media with a statement on the safety-related issue at hand and offer interviews with the Association’s toy safety experts.
In addition to helping members respond to false claims made about their products, The Toy Association is continuing to urge consumers to shop only from trusted brands and legitimate retailers, whose toys comply with tough U.S. safety standards. [Read the Association’s recent press release: “Toy Association Warns Holiday Shoppers About Counterfeit Toys Sold Online.”]
“One of the biggest safety topics this year is the prevalence of dangerous counterfeit toys sold online by third party sellers,” said Adrienne Appell, senior vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. “While legitimate toys comply with more than 100 different federal safety standards and tests, counterfeit toys likely do not, posing a safety risk to unsuspecting shoppers.”
The Toy Association has met with consumer watchdogs to join efforts in educating parents on how to avoid buying illegitimate products and has been sharing safe online shopping tips with the media and consumers throughout Toy Safety Awareness Month this November. The Association is also advocating for legislation (including The INFORM Consumers Act and SHOP SAFE Act) that aims to stop counterfeiters and hold marketplaces accountable in banning illicit third-party sellers from their platforms.
“Fake toys are a real problem – one that we will continue to advocate on and educate consumers about to ensure the safety of children at play. Nonetheless, families can rest assured that legitimate toys and games are safe, and this is a message that we are leading front and center with this holiday season,” added Appell.
Members with questions on this topic are encouraged to contact Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications at The Toy Association.