Hundreds of Thousands Join Barbie Rainforest Destruction Campaign

Email deluge prompts complaint to Facebook over ‘intellectual property'

Media release - June 10, 2011
In less than 72 hours over 700,000 people have viewed an online spoof video featuring the moment Ken discovers that Barbie is involved in rainforest destruction, and almost 200,000 have swamped Mattel’s offices with emails complaining about the company’s use of products from Indonesian rainforests to package toys like Barbie.

The massive online protest has led to a formal complaint to Facebook about a frowning version of Ken’s face online. Greenpeace was today informed that some of its online materials have been ‘disapproved’ by Facebook ‘in response to an intellectual property complaint’.

Greenpeace says that the world’s largest toy company has failed to take the steps required to remove products linked with deforestation from the shelves. The group alleges that a promised ‘investigation’ is inadequate and that without a tough new policy Mattel is continuing to force parents into buying products linked to the destruction of tropical rainforests.

Rolf Skar of Greenpeace said:

“Hundreds of thousands of people are now involved in the campaign to get Barbie to drop rainforest destruction. But instead of listening, we’re now being silenced on Facebook.”

“Mattel didn’t listen to Ken, and they haven’t listened to the ever growing amount of people who have emailed. Promising an investigation isn’t enough. They’ve got to drop APP and introduce an entire policy to cut rainforest destruction out of their products, permanently.”

Greenpeace insisted that its campaign would continue until Mattel introduces a tough policy to solve this problem.

On Tuesday, Greenpeace revealed that packaging for Barbie is produced using timber from the rainforests of Indonesia, home to endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger. At the same time, Greenpeace activists, dressed in tuxedos to mimic Barbie’s boyfriend Ken, scaled Mattel’s Los Angeles HQ with a giant banner saying: “Barbie: It’s Over. I Don’t Date Girls That Are Into Deforestation.”

 

Greenpeace investigators used forensic testing to reveal that Barbie’s packaging comes from the Indonesian rainforests. They also used a combination of ‘in country’ investigation, mapping data and traced company certificates to show that Mattel, the makers of Barbie, along with other toy companies including Hasbro and Disney, are using packaging produced by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). APP has been exposed many times for wrecking Indonesia’s rainforests to make products such as packaging.

 

Since the revelations, Mattel has promised to investigate, but has given no indication that is has a policy to be used as the basis for this investigation.

Indonesia has one of the fastest rates of forest destruction in the world. The Indonesian government estimates that more than one million hectares of rainforests are being cleared every year.

 

ENDS

More details on the Facebook complaint can be found here: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/news-and-blogs/campaign-blog/online-campaign-against-mattel-silenced-by-qu/blog/35241

 

A full dossier outlining the role of APP and Barbie in rainforest destruction is available here: www.greenpeace.org/app-toying-with-extinction <http://Greenpeace.pr-optout.com/Url.aspx?529301x32015x-228897>

Contacts:

 

James Turner, Greenpeace USA, Media Office 415 812 1142

Greenpeace Media Hotline: 202-640-3471