Controversial Children’s Toy Blows Up in CEO’s Face

Paul E. Olsen, Saint Michael's College, Ethan Hendrickson, Saint Michael's College
March 10, 2022
Strategy & General Management, Ethics & Social Justice
3 pages
crisis management, critical incident, social media, social responsibility, toy, intention
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.76)
Average rating: 

Boom. YULU President and co-founder Jochem van Rijn was blown away by the backlash to his “Cut The Wire” children’s toy, a toy bomb that had to be defused before it exploded. In fact, criticism of the toy was swift. Canada’s CBC and the New York Times ran stories questioning the wisdom of the toy while concerned parents turned to social media to blast it (Harris, 2019). Michael Bouck (2018) tweeted , “So, we're going to give children toy bombs to diffuse. Because apparently this is fun for the whole family. How about ‘Duck And Cover: the Biological Attack Version’ next?” Jochem van Rijn was torn. As a children’s toy maker, what social responsibility did YULU have for the toys it produced?

Learning Outcomes: 

1. Defend the role of corporate social responsibility and ethical decision-making in business

2. Examine the issues involved in the development and marketing of children’s toys

3. Apply ethical decision-making to a business case regarding the toy industry