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How much is publicity worth?

When told by Michelle Obama that she didn't appreciate their company attempting to profit from her children's images, Ty denied that their most recent dolls - 'Sweet Sasha' and 'Marvelous Malia' - were named after the Obama daughters, wrapping their responses in an utterly shameless banner of arrogant legal horsehockey.

"There’s nothing on the dolls that refers to the Obama girls," spokeswoman Tania Lundeen said. "It would not be fair to say they are exact replications of these girls. They are not."

However, when CNN asked a Ty executive whether the Obama girls were the inspiration for the dolls, she hesitated several seconds before answering.

"Information concerning the development of our products and how we come up with names, how we select them, how we trademark -- that's considered as proprietary," Ty Senior Vice President of Sales Tania Lundeen said. "I can't go any further with that question."

Ty has now announced that they are renaming their 'Marvelous Malia,' and 'Sweet Sasha' dolls. The dolls have been renamed "Marvelous Mariah" and "Sweet Sydney," Chief Executive Ty Warner of Oak Brook-based Ty Inc. said in a statement Tuesday.

Ty knew full well what they were doing. First, they hoped the dolls would sell a million. Second, they knew the controversy would get their names in additional millions of faces. This kind of disingenuousness may be being celebrated at corporate headquarters as a 'win', but they have tarnished their image in the views of many consumers, including mine. At this point I'm not likely to buy a Ty product, ever again.

I hate corporate dishonesty.


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Comments

sleepyjohn00
Feb. 4th, 2009 02:12 pm (UTC)
Uh huh. The dolls had nothing to do with the Obama girls. And if her aunt had a longer arm, she'd be a catapult. Bungholes.
deckardcanine
Feb. 4th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Well, it's true that the dolls never looked much like the Obama girls, and it's conceivable that they were not supposed to represent them so much as recognize the trendiness of their names. But that doesn't make them a good idea.

"Sydney"? Didn't realize that name was unisex.
r_caton
Feb. 4th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
It isn't. Hence the comments about the Australian who went from Adelaide to Sydney.

I didn't know Ty made humaniform plushes?
I always associate them with Beanie Babies and plush dwaggies....
marmoe
Feb. 4th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
Just check out, how many non-white Ty Girlz there are:

http://www.ty.com/TyGirlz_Home

Exactly two. You need to select "All" in the drop down list in the menu on the left, as "Marvelous Malia" and "Sweet Sasha" both have been "retired".
r_caton
Feb. 5th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
Dear GAWD they look like "Bratz"...
Vile things. What ever happened to dear Looby Loo?

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