So You've Got a Recall. What Now?
It wasn't very long ago, working as a promotional products end-user client that I thought of product safety as pretty much a black and white issue. Products were either safe, or they weren't.
If you're sourcing and buying promotional products, and keeping up with the increasing discussion and awareness of product safety and compliance in our industry, you likely know that's not the case. Safe promotional products are more like a volume knob on the TV, turned up a little now, turned down a little later. Safety and compliance live in shades of grey. Answers always come with conditions and are couched in a phrase that's become pretty standard: "it depends." That's what makes the subject a difficult and complex one that many still choose to avoid.
Last week, you may have heard about a voluntary recall being conducted by Top 50 Supplier Jetline Promo. While just one of 31,000 adapter/chargers had shown the potential to overheat, this QCA-accredited supplier chose the conservative approach of voluntarily recalling all of them. A recall is a situation that inevitably causes a lot of hype and it definitely churns the industry discussion. But the reality of the product safety volume knob is that it's not IF, but WHEN a recall will happen. It could, without question, happen to you. I spoke with Jetline CEO Eric Levin about the recall as I began to write this article and he said, "I find it hard to believe that others haven't had a similar situation. We hope that by a Top 50, QCA-certified supplier setting an example and leading the way, others will follow suit. Jetline wants to be first in a 'not-if-but-when' situation. There were those in the industry who tried to capitalize on the media hype, but for the most part our decision was looked at as 'Thanks for setting the tone and sending the correct message out.'"
Jeff is executive director of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). Prior to that, he was responsible for developing safe and compliant brand merchandise for Michelin. He has worked with brands in publishing, consumer products, broadcasting and film for over 30 years. Follow Jeff on Twitter, and QCA on Facebook.