Jul 3, 2007

how to ruin a brand

I think my response to some of these articles on how Chinese imports have been potentially hazardous is a little different from most. This NY Times article for instance shows companies like General Mills, Toys 'R' Us, and Kellogg stating that they have increased their scrutiny of items they import from China. They actually admit this.

Most of the responses to the Chinese import news has been centered around a new sense of danger with Chinese imports. That may make sense on the face of it. But I personally don't buy things from China. Or Zimbabwe. Or Instanbul. I might buy something from General Mills or Toys 'R' Us.

First, I'm a little perplexed these companies are only now checking more closely the items they put their brand name on or put into their food. Shouldn't they have been doing this all along? And second why are they only scrutinizing Chinese imports. Is Russia or Brazil somehow exempt from shipping bad product?

My dad was one of the first people to go into China when the economy opened up. He worked for 3M in the manufacturing division. I remember him coming back from these trips saying that you could buy all this stuff at rock bottom prices but there was no QA on any of it. You couldn't trust what they hell you were getting. He was amazed that some of the other companies he conferred with, U.S. companies, ended up buying these chemicals and admitted to having no QA. He was just amazed.

If there is anything that will push people to purchase locally it is this behavior. Why I would ever purchase another product from General Mills, Toys 'R' Us or Kellogg is beyond me. They've just admitted they really don't give a crap. I don't expect the Chinese manufacturers to really give a crap. But companies for who I am was a customer, I do expect it.

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