Sorrell brought in to aid on China recalls

BEIJING: The Chinese government has brought in Ogilvy PR to advise its State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) in the wake of the much-publicised Mattel product recall crisis.

Sorrell: unexpected ally of the Chinese government
Sorrell: unexpected ally of the Chinese government

China’s manufacturing industry faced widespread backlash this summer when Mattel recalled 20 million imported toys tainted by lead paint or containing faulty magnets (PRWeek, 7 September 2007).

Ogilvy’s China office has been signed on by the SFDA on a pro bono basis, according to a report in today’s Daily Telegraph. Ogilvy China MD Scott Kronick said that the agency would ‘help connect the firm with a set of very influential officials’. He added that Martin Sorrell, head of the WPP group that owns Ogilvy, was ‘very supportive’ of the Chinese governments’ efforts to stop its image crisis from escalating.

The situation is already influencing next year’s American presidential elections, with candidates calling for an investigation into China’s export industry. US and Chinese regulators plan to sign a cooperation agreement this week that could help end disputes.

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