Mattel looks at potential comms restructure

Mattel is evaluating its internal communications structure a month after the departure of former VP of corporate affairs Dallas Lawrence.

Mattel brand Barbie
Mattel brand Barbie

EL SEGUNDO, CA: Mattel is evaluating its internal communications structure a month after the departure of former VP of corporate affairs Dallas Lawrence.

The assessment has nothing to do with Lawrence’s departure in August, said Alex Clark, director of corporate communications at Mattel.

"We are taking a hard look at the way we structure communications and working to ensure that our internal team is mapped appropriately to the business and to our communications priorities throughout the company," Clark said. "This is totally unrelated to [Lawrence’s] decision to leave and we are happy to see he has a good new position."

Lawrence joined Rubicon Project this month in the new role of SVP and head of corporate communication. He had been with Mattel since last May, when he replaced Lisa Marie Bongiovanni, who moved into the role of VP, strategic marketing, and communications at the company.

Clark declined to comment further on the potential restructure or who is now handling Lawrence’s responsibilities. He said the company hopes to have a plan in place for the communications department in the coming weeks.

In February, Mattel bought Canadian construction toy company Mega Brands for $460 million, placing the company in direct competition with Lego.

Although Mattel remains one of the leading toy makers, owning more than 16% of the $22 billion US toy market, first-half sales reports revealed that Mattel is falling behind Lego in revenue and profit. During the first six months of the year, Mattel’s sales totaled $2 billion, a 7% decline from the same period the previous year. Lego’s sales increased 11% to $2.03 billion in the same reporting period, boosted by products from The Lego Movie.

In addition, Lego owns roughly 65% of the construction toy market, while Mega Brands is number two with a 5.3% stake.

Mattel’s sales drop is partly related to Barbie dolls and merchandise sales, which fell 15% in Q2.

The company’s Dolls of the World collection, which was introduced in 1980, has been criticized by various news outlets since its re-launch in 2012 for encouraging stereotypes.

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