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Finance

CHILD ENDANGERER: Young tongues caught in Sol Lew’s mouth-trap

Melbourne’s sleaziest businessman Sol Lew, fresh from his outrageous land thieving in Mt Eliza where he knowingly built a private swimming pool on publicly-owned nature reserve land, has imperilled the safety of vulnerable and trusting little Aussie kids at the Smiggle chain of coloured garish stationery.

Targeted at children, principally school-girls, the store sold a dangerous plastic bottle for at least a month from May this year until very recently.

Scandalously, a Product Safety Recall notice in today’s Australian reveals that:

“Small body parts, including the tongue, may become stuck in the mouthpiece of the Smiggle Plastic Drink Bottle with the full colour press top lid. This may cause abrasions or harm.”

Smiggle is part of the Premier Investments stable, run by billionaire Sol Lew, who has recently been associated with efforts to impose new taxes and red-tape on online shoppers in a desperate attempt to prop up his ailing 1960’s business model.

Discussion

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  1. My children love Smiggle products. The marketing of the brand is exceptional. The chain of stores must be a real

    It concerns me that a potentially dangerous product was allowed into circulation. Given the significant price mark-up of these products produced mainly in the PRC, I would have expected a rigorous and stringent safety regime before anything is released onto the Australian market. It seems to me the company prefers to use its products liability insurance cover rather than go to the expense of product testing and validation.

    This is a poor strategy that will damage the brand reputation.

    What is not clear is whether the product recall was company or regulator initiated as a result of a consumer complaint or worse still – an injury to an innocent unsuspecting child excited about their colourful drink bottle with the designer label. I’d love to know what happened to trigger this recall.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | June 7, 2011, 20:38
  2. Next Lew will be importing food grown around Fukishima.

    Posted by A Turd At Least Will Flush | June 7, 2011, 22:30
  3. C’mon Andrew. You know you had your head up Sol’s tight a_se just a decade ago.

    After this, he is going to make you do it again!

    Posted by I do it | June 8, 2011, 0:58
  4. Mr Lew’s effective ownership and control of Smiggle is entirely irrelevant to the legitimate concerns I expressed. I believe tycoons should be lauded for their wealth and success provided they act in accordance with well established ethical principles of commerce in amassing their hard-earned wealth. There are often question marks raised about the manner in which a successful business person became wealthy. Usually, they are the bleatings of those less skilled in the practice of wealth creation – the academics or authors who write books about business ethics or how to be successful or how to develop a killer business plan; the politicians and social scientists and community activists who know that the tall poppy syndrome is alive and well and bashing a captain of industry is a sure way to electoral victory or self-assessed moral superiority. Rarely, however, there is some impropriety that comes to light. In those cases, the presumption of innocence should be retained as it is for all alleged wrong-doers and a proper, impartial investigation carried out to determine whether there is a reasonably arguable position that should be resolved in accordance with established judicial principles – either a civil or criminal wrong.

    It seems that Vexnews believes Mr Lew has repeatedly crossed the boundary between legitimate and illegitimate behaviour. He is entitled to his opinion and is to be congratulated for publicising such alleged malfeasance. No doubt, as an eminently sensible person, he has sufficient grounds and evidence to make the allegation public.

    Mr Lew would be well advised to respond openly and honestly lest his public standing developed over many years of service to the community is irretrievably damaged.

    I do not know whether Mr Lew was knowingly involved in the placement of a private swimming pool on public land. It is a grave allegation and he needs personally to address the concerns, not use the coward’s method of hiding behind highly paid lawyers and stone-walling. A coward may escape legal sanction but only at the cost of lasting damage to his/her reputation and the willingness of other business people to deal with him/her and the more damaging risk of a consumer boycott.

    Smiggle needs to explain its position also and re-assure its many customers (including me) that its quality control and safety standards are of the highest order commensurate with its premium pricing model.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | June 8, 2011, 10:45
  5. oh, yeah andy. c’mon. have you checked out whether any other childrens products have had safety alerts (the answer is yes). And have you written exposes’ on your blog about them (the answer is no). It’s a boring personal vendetta, and if you are serious about this “journalism” thing you should drop, because it detracts from when you do actual good work.

    of course you will have another opinion that i am sure wont be influenced by the fact that you lost stacks of money to solomon lew – and whatever else happened between you and him. save it, and move on!

    Posted by anon | June 8, 2011, 16:11
  6. My young tongue does its best work after a long Wednesday night at the Kennedy room. I love the taste of smiggle. Please don’t tell my husband.

    Posted by SHY | June 8, 2011, 16:43

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