Monday, September 28, 2009

CPSIA - Ashton Kutcher to the Rescue!

The CPSC rolled out its latest weapon in the war on safety two days ago - CELEBRITIES! Yes, rather than focus its energies on consideration of the issues present by its regulated community or devote its limited resources and energy to identifying real threats to safety, the CPSC is instead reaching out to Ashton Kutcher to lend a hand with its Internet strategy. After all, who would know better than Ashton, he of the Blah Girls fame ( Ashton, known as "aplusk" on Twitter (3.7 million followers - you, too?), is a renowned expert on safety and the perfect ally for the CPSC. Anything to avoid dealing with its role in driving small businesses serving the children's market into the tank. . . .

Apparently, Scott Wolfson has been given the chore of mining the Hollywood connection. In a tweet two days ago, Scott rang up his bud' Ashton perhaps in the hope that Ash' would retweet his words of wisdom:

Scott_wolfson: @aplusk ashton - federal gov. just launched @OnSafetyto help keep children and families safe in their home. Thx.

Ashton is certainly the right place to turn for an ally in safety. Check out the description of his new characters/series Blah Girls: "Meet..."The Blah Girls!" BlahBlahBlah is an interactive, animated Web series that focuses on popular culture, told through the perspective of the Blah Girls - Tiffany, Krystle and Britney. They will keep you up to date on the latest in celebrity gossip, fashion, relationships and life as it happens." Just oozes safety and concern for the health of children, doesn't it? Ashton, SAVE ME!

Maybe Ashton asked Scott to keep him posted. I don't know. From my perspective, the outreach to the Hollywood types is yet another sign of confused, conflicted priorities in today's CPSC. It seems to me that the agency is being tooled to please the power elite of the moment while placing the mission of safety in a back seat (except when the power elite wants some heads on a stick to impress the populace). They talk about "transparency" and "openness" but don't answer questions or respond to clear and documented criticisms. They reach out to celebrities and publicize the garage sale police (with a little too much enthusiasm) but are unwilling to resist the decimation of critical regulated markets with sterling safety records like educational products, apparel (putting aside drawstrings, a different issue altogether), bikes and ATVs, non-lead jewelry and jewels. The emerging picture is certainly not inspiring to someone (like me) who has known this agency for almost two decades and knows the good work it is capable of.

It makes so much sense. . . . Thanks Scott for turning Ashton on to your new website! I am sure that will make everyone so safe - and so hip!


Gigi said...

PR - where scoundrels hide. CPSIA makes the world safe for litigators and PR departments.

Paul said...

"You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." - Abraham Lincoln

Information did travel in a different pace back then. So nowadays, the bad info flooding strategy is keeping President Lincoln’s words up to date. These politicians, agencies, celebrities are staking their reputation for what? Bottom line is people are actually hurting in reality.

So, are they trying to fool most of the people most of the time? or at least until the next election?

Holly Jahangiri said...

Sorry for the noise. That was the sound of me banging my head against the desk...repeatedly.