- Joshua Roberts/Reuters
- Product recalls are an inevitability in the world of business.
- But child-focused consumer protection group Kids in Danger – or KID – released a report saying that many companies aren’t doing enough when it comes to publicizing those recalls.
- KID found that companies that issued recalls of children’s products consistently failed to call attention to news of the recall online.
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Every year, companies in the US must recall items that pose a hazard to the public. And ome of those recalls involve children’s products or items that pose a danger to children.
Child-focused consumer protection group Kids in Danger, or KID, released a report indicating that many companies aren’t fully embracing the spirit of informing customers about potentially dangerous products.
The advocacy group said that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls 122 children’s products between July 2017 and June 2019. These items were produced by 117 companies “whose CPSC press release included a website,” according to KID. Of those 117 businesses, only 65% featured any information about the recall on their websites.
The amount of transparency dropped even further when it came to social media. Only 48% of the 122 cases saw the companies involved post about the recalls on social media platforms. KID found that, of the 87 companies with official Facebook pages, only 38% posted information about the recall on the page.
The CPSC’s “recall checklist” and “recall handbook” both encourage companies with a social media presence to initiate a “social media plan” to get the word out on recalls, using platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
“The Commission encourages companies to be creative in developing ways to reach owners of recalled products and motivate them to respond,” the CPSC’s recall handbook reads. “… As new or innovative methods of notice and means of communication become available, such as social media, the staff encourages their use.”
The handbook goes on to say that, in addition to voluntarily sending out a joint news release with the CPSC, companies should also inform consumers about the recall “using all available social media and mobile platforms.”
The commission recommends that the company’s home page should serve as the “first entry point” regarding news of a recall, and that all posts should include the words “recall” and safety.”
“Companies can do a lot to make recalls effective,” Nancy Cowles, the executive director of KID, said in a statement. “But at the very least, clear details about the recall and how to participate should be readily available on the firm’s website. It was disheartening to see that CPSC doesn’t even enforce this basic requirement.”