Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Protégez-Vous beats back injunction
application by toymaker

Les Éditions Protégez-Vous, publishers of the consumer magazine Protégez-Vous, successfully defended itself against an injunction application by Montreal-based toymaker Mega Brands Inc.

[UPDATE: A story in the New York Times quotes
David Clerk, the magazine’s publisher and the executive director of Les Editions Protégez-Vous saying: "“This is a loophole. Why is it that in 2007 we are still finding lead in toys?”]

The toy company had asked the Quebec Superior Court to issue an
injunction forbidding the magazine from further selling copies of its 2008 toy guide because it maintained it contained erroneous reports of elevated lead levels in Mega Bloks toy blocks that Mega Brands sells.

Protégez-Vous had said it stood by its story and successfully fought the application for an injunction in Quebec Superior Court.

According to a story in Toy News Online, the toy company was trying to prevent newsstand sales of the magazine's 2008 toy guide, which has already been mailed to subscribers, single copies of which were to go on sale this Friday.

The toymaker says that
Protégez-Vous used the wrong test for the type of toy they make, according to Toy News Online:
Mega Brands says Protégez-Vous used a so-called "total lead" test applicable only to coated products on a molded Mega Brands product that contained no paint or other coating. Protégéz-Vous did not use the global standard lead test for unpainted plastic products, commonly referred to as the "lead migration" test....

"While we respect and support Protégez-Vous' commitment to informing consumers about product safety, in this case, they made a very grave error," said Marc Bertrand, President and CEO of MEGA Brands. "Simply put, Protégez-Vous used a paint test on an unpainted plastic product and reached a misleading conclusion.
" While it is not unusual for plastic products to contain traces of lead, they can be toxic if ingested by young children, " said a story carried by Canadian Press. "Mega Brands is particularly sensitive to claims about the safety of its products after one child died and four others were seriously injured when they swallowed tiny magnets in the Magnetix line of building sets."

According to Toy News Online:
Upon learning of the Protégez-Vous report, Mega Brands immediately contacted the Canadian Toy Association, Canada's principal trade association for toy manufacturers and distributors, as well as Bureau Veritas, a leading international independent safety testing lab.

The Canadian Toy Association confirmed that the publication used the wrong test for lead content on the Mega Brands product and that their results do not properly measure the product's safety.
The magazine announced its successful defence on its website, but said it would withhold further or detailed comment until it had a written judgement in hand.

Protégez-Vous has approximately 140,000 paid circulation, mostly in Quebec and is analogous to Consumer Reports.


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