Using simple filmmaking techniques -- and employing a crude parallel between lead poisoning and sexually transmitted diseases -- a consumer advocacy group is pushing for the nation's top product safety official to step down.
In a short, made-for-Internet video released by the Campaign for America's Future, a Barbie doll calls a Ken doll to complain she has contracted lead poisoning from a late-night, alcohol-induced, post-breakup (and off-camera) rendezvous with her dashing plastic boy-toy.
"It's hard to talk about, Ken," Barbie says into a cell phone glued to her head. "But I've contracted something."
"Oh, no!" Ken replies into his phone. "Barbie, I'm so sorry. What is it?"
"It's -- it's lead poisoning!" Barbie says.
"Barbie accessories containing toxic levels of lead were some of the 25 million products recalled this year," the group explains in a press release announcing its campaign.
The Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan watchdog is using the video to call for the resignation of Nancy Nord, acting director of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, for declining to push for better funding of her agency despite recent problems with unsafe products being imported to the United States.
Drunken hookup Barbie is not alone: several Democratic politicians, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. have called on Nord to step down.
Asked to comment on the video, CPSC director of information and public affairs said, "We're just not going to dignify anything like that."
Nord said last month she had no intention of resigning and rejected criticism she was too cozy with manufacturers.