YEAR OF THE RAT: Mattel CEO Is Sorry, So Sorry

polly-pocket.jpgOn Monday, Elizabeth Fiend will school you on why Polly Pocket might have something to do with why Sally Can’t Read.

But in the meantime — say, while you’re dismantling the Chinese crib of death — cogitate on which of the Mattel CEO’s three (so far) apologies for the lead-paint debacle you believe.

Your choices are:

* The one from a few weeks back aimed at U.S. consumers who really need to get started on the Christmas shopping

* The one proffered Friday to Chinese officials

* The one he says he really meant

The state-run New China News Agency said Debrowski “apologized personally Friday to a senior Chinese official for the massive recall of Made-in-China toys due to design flaws committed by itself.” Other media outlets said Debrowski apologized for harming the reputation of Chinese firms.

To an American ear, the news agency reports sounded as if Debrowski was mattel_apology_0921.jpg making an apology for any blame placed on China.

In the United States, however, Mattel said in a statement that some reports of the meeting had been “mischaracterized.”

When Debrowski said, “Mattel takes full responsibility for these recalls and apologizes personally to you, the Chinese people, and all of our customers who received the toys,” the company said he was telling Chinese product safety chief Li Changjiang what had been said elsewhere, including that a majority of the problems had been associated with design issues, not Chinese manufacturers.

BLOOMBERG: Sure, Two Kids Died, But Hey, Not From Lead Poisoning!

WaPo: How Do You Say ‘Prevaricating Bullshitter’ In Cantonese?

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