Campaign to Stop Toxic Imports


When news broke in late 2007 that toys from China were laden with lead, the public was outraged. So was the United Steelworkers union, which hired Tricom to publicize its launch of a North American “Stop Toxic Imports” campaign.

The union’s Women of Steel members began holding house parties in a dozen U.S. and Canadian cities in which they conducted scientific tests of the toxic contaminants in toys from China that mothers brought to have examined. Tricom promoted these events to the media – with stunning success.

In 90 short days during the fall and early winter, Tricom’s media promotion garnered more than 300 media reports of the Steelworker home tests – 178 of them on television, including network coverage on the evening news.

The events and Tricom’s promotion of them did more than win media coverage; it generated powerful calls for the Bush administration to end its hands-off approach to product testing and unfettered trade with China.

Tricom has continued to keep up the pressure since then by publicizing studies on the impact of China’s unfair trading practices, authorized by such clients as the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) and conducted by trade experts at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). These 50-state studies, promoted to the media nationwide, have engendered a growing call for new trade rules that create a level playing field and protect American consumers.