TIA Educational Webinars To Cover Green Guides, Toy Fair PR Strategies

Courtesy of The Toy Industry Association

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will be holding two educational webinars as part of the TIA’s Knowledge Network, the Association’s year-round educational program that aims to educate and inform toy industry members. [Read more...]

ISO Meetings Explore Toy Safety Guidelines

Courtesy of the Toy Industry Association

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee on Toy Safety recently held meetings to discuss the development of global age determination guidelines for toys, based largely on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s guidelines from 2002. The meetings, which were held in Tokyo, also discussed magnets, cords, impaction, phthalates, total concentration of certain elements, and the alignment of toy standards.

Technical experts from the U.S.—including representatives from toy manufacturers and importers, testing labs, and the Toy Industry Association (TIA)—and industry and product safety agencies from more than a dozen countries also attended the discussions.

ASTM International held its third annual meeting with ISO to share information and work for further alignment. Issues such as battery and magnet ingestion were discussed. A detailed report from the U.S delegation will be available for viewing on the TIA Website upon completion.

TIA Meetings in Shanghai Explore New Market Opportunities for Members

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

Toy Industry Association (TIA) staff met with several organizations in Shanghai, China during the annual Toy and Juvenile Products Fair (October 11 to 13), as part of the Association’s efforts to help its members export their products into developing markets.

TIA President Carter Keithley and EVP of External Affairs Ed Desmond met with representatives from the Commercial Service of the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai; the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham – Shanghai); and ALTIOS International, an import/export consulting service with offices in Shanghai, New York, France, and Australia, in order to begin research on resources that could help TIA fulfill its new strategic goal.

Visit the TIA website for a detailed list of takeaways from this meeting. Contact Marian Bossard, TIA vice president of meetings and events, or Desmond  to relay efforts and ask questions about growing into China and other overseas markets.

EU and OECD Develop, Launch New Global Recalls Portal

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

A new “Global Recalls Portal” was launched in Brussels, Belgium on October 19 to facilitate the exchange of information among government representatives, consumers and businesses about recalled products in jurisdictions around the world, according to a news release from TIA.

Developed jointly by the EU and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including countries such as the U.S., Australia, and Canada, the portal was unveiled during International Product Safety Week. Paola Testori Coggi, director general in the Directorate General for Health and Consumers at the European Commission (SANCO); Rintaro Tamaki, OECD deputy secretary general; and Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission were on hand at the launch.

The portal will allow consumers to search products they intend to buy to see if any safety alerts have been issued, help businesses to track emerging hazards from around the world, and aid governments in removing unsafe products from the market.

To view the portal, visit www.globalrecalls.oecd.org.

The Federal Trade Commission Releases Revised Green Guides

Courtesy Of The Toy Industry Association

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revised its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims to make sure that marketers’ claims about the environmental attributes of their products are truthful. The revisions include updates, modifications, and clarifications to current guides. The FTC also added new sections featuring information on the usage of carbon offsets, green certifications and seals of approval, free-of and non-toxic claims, and renewable energy and materials claims. Other modifications include caution against making broad, unqualified claims about products that are environmentally friendly or eco-friendly.

USMX and ILA Agree to 90-Day Contract Extension

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

The U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX) and the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) have agreed to a 90-day contract extension. This extension has averted a strike on East Coast ports on September 30, when the original contract was due to expire. The schedule of the negotiations, their location, and the substance of what takes place during the negotiations will not be publicly announced.

TIA Hosts Back-to-School Event for Kindergartners in New York City

The Toy Industry Foundation and partner My Stuff Bags Foundation delivered 50 “My Stuff” duffel bags to two incoming classes of kindergarten students at Mott Haven Academy in the Bronx, Ny., on Sept. 13. The bags were filled with homemade blankets, school supplies, stuffed animals, toys, and toiletries. Mott Haven is the nation’s only public charter school for at-risk students in foster care or the child welfare system.

Potential Port Strike Would Have Negative Impact on Toy Industry in 4th Quarter

In a Legislative Bulletin, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) notified its members of a potential labor strike that could occur at 14 East Coast and Gulf Coast ports this fall if a settlement between the Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) is not reached by September 30.

A strike would have a long-term negative impact on the toy industry and the U.S. economy as a whole, as 95 percent of all container shipments to the East Coast are handled through these 14 ports.

Talks between the ILA and USMX deteriorated on August 22 as the two sides reached an impasse over employee benefits and wages; discussions will resume on September 17 under the authority of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Responses detailing how a strike would impact toy companies and retailers before the holidays are requested via email to Rebecca Mond, TIA Director of Federal Government Affairs. TIA will continue to monitor the issue and keep members apprised of any developments.

This post was originally written by the Toy Industry Association and published at ToyAssociation.org. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

FTC Advises App Developers to “Build in Compliance from the Start”

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a new guidance document for mobile app developers titled Marketing Your Mobile App: Get it Right from the Start to assist developers in ensuring that their apps meet the FTC’s truth-in-advertising standards and basic privacy principles.

The six-page document re-states the FTC’s recent rulemaking and enforcement actions and delineates how any developer–regardless of level of experience–can “build in compliance from the start.”

Key tips outlined in the document include being honest about the product description in advertising, disclosing key information visibly, being obvious and secure in data practices, and honoring privacy promises. The FTC also calls out protecting kids’ privacy as one of their nine best practice guidelines, with a specific reference to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Marketing Your Mobile App: Get it Right from the Start is a companion resource to two documents recently created by the Toy Industry Association’s Responsible Marketing to Children Committee. The Changing Privacy and Data Security Landscape: From Mobile Apps to OBA, and a corresponding Checklist for Mobile Apps and Promotions, are two Members Only publications that aim to assist members of the industry in understanding an ever-expanding array of laws and regulations, policy initiatives, self-regulatory standards and reports addressing various aspects of privacy and data security.

More information about Responsible Marketing to Children can be found on the TIA website; for additional information, contact TIA’s Stacy Leistner (646.520.4858).

This post was originally written by the Toy Industry Association and published at ToyAssociation.org. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Summer Toy Drive Garners Record-Breaking Donations

The Toy Industry Foundation’s Summer Toy Drive, held from May 1 to August 31, collected nearly 290,000 toys.

Thanks to the toy manufacturers, retailers, and distributors who participated in this year’s drive, TIF’s Toy Bank received 59 percent more toys than last year. This year’s gifts also surged in value by 425 percent–$6.5 million worth of playthings were donated versus $1.2 million last year.

“With the help of our generous donors, we were able to deliver playthings to 44 children’s charities in The Toy Bank network across the country, as well as to children living on 17 military bases,” says Foundation Coordinator Melissa Kipp. “The significant increase in donations allowed us to bring play to 107,000 more disadvantaged children than last summer!”

The Toy Bank is a year-round program; it is currently collecting for the final two Play Comforts events for military children in 2012 and is preparing for the next trade show collection at Fall Toy Preview in Dallas (October 2 to 4). To donate or learn more,  visit the TIF website or contact Melissa Kipp (646.520.4878).

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.