I know this is hard to hear, but Ken dumped Barbie.
That's at least according to the radical environmental group Greenpeace. The organization recently launched an elaborate marketing campaign protesting the iconic doll's maker, Mattel, and its alleged use of packaging that contributes to deforestation. The group's anger lies with the Singapore company Asian Pulp & Paper (APP), which Greenpeace accuses of clearcutting rain forests and destroying endangered species' habitats.
So to make its point, Greenpeace put together an animated video where Ken finds out that Barbie is really a saw-wielding, crazy woman who hates rainforests and cute, cuddly tigers. The fake interviewer even calls her a "serial killer:"
But that was just the beginning. The group also launched a Facebook campaign that allows people to use an "Angry Ken" profile picture, and includes posters such as "unlike Barbie:"
And then last week, activists repelled down the side of Mattel's headquarters to unfurl a banner heralding Ken and Barbie's breakup. The stunt even included a Barbie impersonator showing up in a pink bulldozer:
Initially, Mattel responded how you might imagine. Consumerist explains they dismissed the campaign as "inflammatory:"
The announcement was a change of pace from Mattel's initial response to the Greenpeace action, which was to call their actions "inflammatory," disable comments on Barbie's Facebook wall, and shut down on trademark grounds Greenpeace's Facebook ad campaign about the breakup.
But that only lasted so long. The latest news is that Mattel has capitulated and caved, suspending its relations with APP:
"While Mattel does not contract directly with Sinar Mas/APP, we have directed our packaging suppliers to stop sourcing pulp from them as we investigate the allegations," the company announced on their Facebook page, which is usually reserved for promoting things like World Wish Day and cross-promoting Cars 2. The company also announced a new "Sustainable Procurement Policy" for all of their products which "will require packaging suppliers to commit to sustainable forestry management practices."
That's problematic, since APP vehemently denies Greenpeace's allegations, noting that its paper products contain 95 percent recycled material:
Greenpeace has issued a 45-page report that boldly claims that some packaging that uses our paper contains mixed tropical hardwoods. It goes on to attack the toymakers who use this packaging. It also resurrects long-discredited allegations about Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP) and our products.
All materials in APP carton box packaging, as well as all other APP produced paper products, come from a pulpwood supply that is verified to follow the legal guidelines of the country of origin, including Indonesia and any other country that APP imports pulp supply from.
Despite Greenpeace’s unsubstantiated allegations, the facts are that our packaging materials contain more than 95% of recycled paper sourced from around the world. Less than two percent of the pulp in those carton boxes comes from legal and sustainable Indonesia pulpwood plantations. And the remainder is from PEFC certified forests. APP is one of the few companies in Southeast Asia, which has been working hard to promote the production of this type of recycled carton box packaging. We are happy to share the scientific analysis of our packaging materials with anyone who wants to review it.
Can we really be surprised that there's so much drama surrounding a story about Barbie?
Read more at Consumerist.