Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Barbie Spy: Coming Soon (or take 10 seconds to sign a petition )

I was in Trader Joe's last week and I saw that they had peanut butter with chia and flax seeds mixed in

And peanut butter with the jelly already swirled through.

And some kind of peanut butter that had cookies in there too. 
Or maybe it was just liquid cookies in a peanut butter jar.

There are people whose job is to sit in a room together and create. 
To think of something that does not yet exist, and then commission it to be made. 

It makes me marvel at the awesomeness of creativity, and also makes me wonder if the chia and flax seed camp had a heated argument with the liquid cookies camp.

Making up new things in the US is a vastly supported venture.

But sometimes, creators and companies suck make bad choices.
And we have to remind them to cut the crap make more ethical decisions on how to make money without taking advantage of 5 year olds.

In the US, there are no regulations which limit marketing to children.
I've posted about this before, when the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood drew our attention to the fact that Scholastic was joining forces with the American Coal Foundation (see here and here), and when Fisher Price was selling the iPad Bouncy Seat (see here).

And now, CCFC has brought attention to more nonsense:

A Barbie.  That talks to your kid.  And records what your kid says.  And stores all that information in a cloud.  And uses that information to market to children more specifically.

To a teenager with this idea, we might say, Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

To a creative and entrepreneurial 12 year old we might ask, Do you think that is a good thing to do?  To take advantage of your little sister by giving her a doll that records her private thoughts and musings and then uses them for your own profit at a future date?

The company might say, But Fisher Price is doing it!

And we can say, If Fisher Price were jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, would you jump too?

Or, I can cease all these analogies where I compare terrible company decisions to parenting conversations and we could just sign a petition. 

The good news is that: these things work.  Companies don't like to upset their customer base, and so sometimes, they listen. 

Here's a synopsis of Hello Barbie.

Here's a link to sign a petition.   (I'm signature 1675!)

Make interesting peanut butter, not data-recording cloud-storing Barbies. 

Let's remind Mattel to make good choices.

Image result for trader joe peanut butter chia

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