Sunday, October 03, 2010

Tesco fail children with gender specific marketing

Late last night I saw via author Keris Stainton's Twitter that Tesco's new advertising campaign includes more gender specific toy marketing.

She highlights a blog post by Caroline Smailes which outlines the reaction of a 7 year old to an advert that states that baby faced dolls are for girls and transformers are for boys.
Littlest watched the advert and got really bothered. Her response was, “But that’s not fair. Transformers are good for boys and for girls.” We had to explain to her that it was OK for her to like Transformers too. She didn’t understand why Tesco would be so mean.
Remember way back in July, when the Early Learning Centre's website were marketing nurses' uniforms at girls and doctor's costumes at boys? After a whole load of complaints, they backed down, apologised and changed the wording on their site. 

Can I point you in the direction of Tesco's customer services contact form so you can express your displeasure at this ridiculous piece of gender biased marketing? I think children should grow up being themselves and find their own interests without being bombarded with commercial material that tells them they should like certain things based on whether they're a boy or a girl.

I have a daughter whose interests over the years have included little plastic ponies with glittery hair, little fuzzy animals in collectible sets, planets, dinosaurs, Doctor Who and animal welfare of any description. I certainly would never want her curiosity, her horizons to be limited by arbitrary factors such as her gender.

I'm not as kind as Caroline. I won't be buying toys from Tesco until I have some indication from them that they are going to rethink this sort of thing, and I do have the alternative of a nice shiny new Sainsbury's opening in Livingston before Christmas so I may not have to bother with them at all. I think it's important that we challenge such outdated stereotyping where we find it.

1 comment:

DOT said...


Like you, have posted a comment on Caroline's post. I saw/read something recently about how seriously big companies are now taking blogs and tweets in judging their 'performance'.

I am amazed. Don't the CEOs, managers, staff have children of their own? Don't they care if they screw up their kids' future, be it environmentally, socially, culturally, for the sake of a quick profit now?

Apparentlt not.


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