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There have long been stories about petfood makers eating the product to make sure it’s up to scratch, and even apocryphal tales of ad executives having to try it to prove they too are up to the task. But Mattel has taken company loyalty too far. The firm can’t seem to recognise the difference between staff and product. It describes its new product manager, Catherine Kusmirek, in terms inseparable from the doll itself: Catherine is “Just like Barbie… an all-round action girl” who enjoys ski-ing and pot-holing and, “like Baywatch Barbie”, (left) she’s a qualified life-saver. If she’s not careful Catherine might find herself pigeon-holed. Working on Fungus the Bogeyman, for instance, would seem to be out of the question.

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