Sleeping Pills For Kids? The 2007 International Bad Product Awards

The Consumer’s International 2007 International Bad Product Awards are here, folks. Let’s have a big round of applause for:


Why: Recalling 21 million toys in 5 weeks! Way to go, Mattel. Your CEO stonewalled a congressional investigation into product safety and then bragged about his company’s history of flouting consumer protection laws to the Wall Street Journal. Are design flaws in your products killing children and burning down people’s homes? Be like Mattel: Blame China, then apologize for it, then take back the apology. What?

Consumers International says:
“This is a classic case of avoiding accountability and shifting responsibility on a global scale.Wherever the fault lies, the safety of consumers was compromised and this should be the full focus of Mattel’s attention, not finger pointing and not blame dodging.”


Why: Dasani! Even though it’s quite popular in the US , Dasani was laughed off the shelves in Europe (picky, picky) because it contains ordinary tap water.

Consumers International says:
“Sustainable access to essential services, such as water, is a basic consumer right. By bottling up this universal resource to sell back to us, corporations, such as Coca-Cola have created a US$100 billion industry at a time when one billion people in the world lack access to safe drinking water. Making profits out of increasingly fragile water supplies is unsustainable, irresponsible and against the basic rights of consumers everywhere.”


Why: Advertising junk food to kids. What, you mean huge bowls of sugar aren’t healthy?

Consumers International says:
“CI is committed to stopping the marketing of junk food to children. Together with our membership we are campaigning for international restrictions on marketing to under 16’s, to give our children the chance of a healthy start.”

Takeda Pharmaceuticals:

Why: Marketing Rozarum sleeping pills to kids for “Back to School.” Takeda ran ads that showed images of children, chalkboards and school buses. The commercial said: “Rozerem would like to remind you that it’s back to school season. Ask your doctor today if Rozerem is right for you.”

According to Consumers International, Rozarum hasn’t been approved for use by children.

Consumers International says:
“This case demonstrates the lengths to which some drug companies will go to increase sales of their products, how direct to consumer advertising can promote irrational drug use, and how weak regulation can foster irresponsible corporate behaviour. This company is our overall award winner for irresponsible behavior for 2007.”

There you are, folks. Your worst products of 2007. Remember kids: Shut up, drink your expensive tap water and eat your Frosted Flakes. If you don’t, Santa will bring you a poison Barbie for Christmas and mommy will drug you with sleeping pills.

Coco-cola, Kellogg’s, Mattel and Takeda Pharmaceuticals top the list of international brands guilty of abusing consumer rights
.[Consumers International]