Hails & Fails – October 15th 2021
In a week where the national supply chain and the prospect of empty shop shelves once again raised its head, great PR campaigns were in anything but short supply. Microsoft made digital billboards inclusive, Lego made its toys unisex and Morrisons went green for Halloween. It wasn’t a great week for Sainsbury’s though, after angry parents lambasted the supermarket giant for outdated gender stereotyping.
A SIGN OF THE TIMES
Microsoft has launched a national digital billboard campaign featuring British Sign Language to highlight the importance of accessibility in driving innovation.
The out-of-home campaign, which appears in major railway stations across the UK, features a 10-second clip of a sign language interpreter signing the message: “The more inclusive you are, the more innovative you can be. Together we can create a better and more accessible world for everyone.”
The campaign is designed to mark Microsoft’s five-year commitment to inclusivity for underserved communities.
BUILDING BLOCKS WITHOUT BIAS
Lego is to remove gender stereotypes from its toys after a survey revealed attitudes to play and future careers are unequal and restrictive.
The research revealed that while girls were becoming more confident and keen to engage in a wide range of activities, the same was not true of boys.
Seventy-one per cent of boys surveyed feared they would be made fun of if they played with what they described as “girls’ toys” – a fear shared by their parents.
The study found that parents still encouraged sons to do sports or Stem activities, while daughters were offered dance and dressing up (girls were five times more likely to be encouraged in these activities than boys) or baking (three times more likely to be encouraged). The story won coverage everywhere this week.
Morrisons has launched a range of eco-friendly outfits made from recycled plastic bottles to stop costumes being buried in landfill.
The supermarket claims to be the first to do so, in “a bid to make the spookiest night of the year more sustainable”.
The outfits include werewolf, mummy and Harry Potter costumes. Unlike their predecessors, these can be machine washed and used again.
Even the hangers are made out of cardboard as plastic and metal versions are ditched – after research found most Halloween outfits are worn only once and, because they are made from polyester, end up in landfill rather than recycling plants.
Well done, Morris, spooktacular work.
A FASHION FAUX PAS FOR SAINSBURY’S
A Sainsbury’s clothing range, which parents claim is reinforcing outdated gender roles with labels like “let’s stay home” for girls and “unstoppable” for boys, has caused a bit of a furore this week.
Parents have complained on the forum Mumsnet claiming slogans on the T-shirts in the store were reinforcing stereotypes about how women and men should behave.
The angry reaction began with one parent on a visit to Sainsbury’s coming across the problematic clothing and made a post titled “nothing is going to change for women while girls are still targeted by this b******t”.
But the story soon angered many others, who weighed in with criticism for the supermarket on the alleged gender stereotyping.
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