Blogs & Comment

Greenpeace wins battle with Mattel

By launching a clever marketing campaign, the organization has sold environmentalism to Barbie's maker.


The world of toys should be rejoicing: Barbie and Ken can finally date again. After finding out his girlfriend was hacking down rainforests just so she could wrap herself in cheaper packaging, Ken declared: “Oh it’s over that f#$&%*# b($*# $!” The video was posted to YouTube in June as part of a campaign launched by activist organization Greenpeace. The group also draped a bright pink banner with Ken’s face from Mattel headquarters that declared: “I don’t date girls that are into deforestation.” The campaigning organization is famous for its marketing tactics, some of which I wrote about here.

Today, Mattel sent the message it wants to reunite the couple, announcing it will stop buying paper and packing products from companies that harm the rainforest. According to a Greenpeace press release, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which owns five pulp mills in Canada, is a major contributor to the widespread rainforest clearance in Indonesia, and the Indonesian government estimates that nearly 2.5 million acres of rain forest is being lost every year. Mattel has also committed to using more recycled paper, and products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a non-profit that promotes environmentally responsible forestry.

So whatever good news you choose to take-away: healthier rainforests, happy orangutans, or the reunion of America’s most beloved couple, there’s something for everyone to celebrate.