With all the crap flying around the internet and social media these days it is hard to know where to start, never mind what to believe. So when I saw this one my reaction was initially one of despair.
Lego Pulls Police and White House Playsets?
The article first appeared on 2nd June. The full title is “Police Pulls back police affiliate marketing amid George Floyd Protests.” Apparently (key word there!) Lego group sent emails to affiliate marketers requesting them to remove more than 30 Lego sets that include police officers, firefighters, criminals and associated buildings and vehicles. The White House sets were also said to be included in this…
What?!! Are you f*#&ing kidding me? Well that was my first reaction, naturally.
The article was then updated two days later on 4th June * with a clarification from Lego. Phew! But wait there is more… (* June 4th is ironically a key date in history – remember this for later.)
“We requested that our affiliate partners refrain from posting promotional LEGO content as part of our decision to respect #BlackOutTuesday and pause posting content on our social media channels in response to the tragic events in the US….”
They will update as necessary and I am sure we will all get to see and hear about it. But why would they do that? Are they afraid of being targeted by looters and rioters? Or are they just virtue signalling. Almost certainly the latter – but what about the first one?
LEGO then put out this tweet: “We’ve seen incorrect reports saying we’ve removed some LEGO sets from sale. To be clear, that is not the case and reports otherwise are false. Our intention was to temporarily pause digital advertising in response to events in the US. We hope this clears things up”
To The LEGO Store
Well there was one way to find out more and that was to go to the LEGO store near to us. So off I went. It turns out that the clarification from LEGO is true. Sets with Police officers are still on sale. white house sets are freely available on the LEGO website also.
I wonder if LEGO, or anyone else for that matter, will be doing a similar thing next June, on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre – which was also known as the ‘June 4th Incident’. (What timing for that article update eh?) If not, why not? It would seem to be the logical thing to do right? Then they can stop promoting the Great Wall of China sets perhaps? (Yes there is such a set.) Where does it all end?
It seems to me that some people, and the media in particular, think that some causes are much more worthy than others. If we put everything into context and by scale of injustice then we would all be protesting all of the time and banning just about every single thing. And that would get you as far as trying to set up a protest camp in Tiananmen Square !! Let that one sink in…
All is well and these media stories will be updated – corrected – in due course. One would assume…
Sadly, however, LEGO do have a history of caving in to politically motivated criticism. Like ditching their Shell Oil company logos and associated sets in favour of their own made up petrol company ‘Octan’ – in response to pressure from anti oil groups and the like. There is a story to that one which I cannot recall right now.
Politicising kids toys – especially the best ever kids toy – is totally unacceptable to me. What do you think? Does anyone disagree with me on this? Would love to hear from you…