Red faces at P&G over new product

Procter & Gamble have been forced to label Pampers Care Mats with safety warning after product misuse.

Procter & Gamble has been forced to make an embarrassing U-turn on a newly-launched infant product, after fears were raised that it could suffocate young babies.

Pampers Care Mats, disposable mats on which infants can be placed while changing their nappies or to protect toddlers against bed-wetting, were launched last September. But P&G has been forced to put stickers on the packaging warning parents that they should not be used in cots for babies under 12 months old “to avoid the risk of suffocation”.

The packaging has now been changed to include the warning, but one reader has written to Marketing Week expressing fears about the product’s safety, and the poor customer service he received from the P&G Care Line.

P&G says it had to change the packaging because it had not realised parents would use the Care Mats in cots with young babies.

A spokeswoman says: “We like to make sure our products are as safe as possible, which is why we stickered [the warning] as soon as we realised people were using them for cots.”

One observer says the U-turn has been caused by the heavy pressure P&G executives are under to reduce product testing times and bring products quickly to market.

Simon Dannatt of Kae:marketing Intelligence, who bought the product, wrote to Marketing Week to complain about the service he received from the customer careline when he asked if the Care Mats could be used in mattresses. He says “unbelievably” he was referred to the legal department. “Does Procter & Gamble have its very own version of Persil Power?” he asks.

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