The death of George Floyd at the hands of police has led to major protests across the country. Now, it's having an impact on the toy industry and its advertisers. The Toy Book, a leading trade publication, received a copy of an email sent to affiliate marketers by Rakuten Linkshare on behalf of Lego. The email requests that marketing for certain Lego products be stopped — specifically those "that include representation of police officers, firefighters, criminals, emergency vehicles, and buildings," The Toy Book writes. The sets and products in question include the Lego City Police Station, Fire Station, Police Dog Unit, Patrol Car, Fire Plane, Mobile Command Center, Police Highway Arrest, and more.
A post shared by Toronto Lego Copper Collection (@legocopgta) on Nov 1, 2018 at 7:57am PDT
The Lego City Donut Shop Opening set also has been flagged, as it includes a police officer and "crook" figures. The email also called for the adult builder Lego set of The White House to be removed from advertisements.
U.S.A! So much fun building the Lego Architecture White House 🇺🇸. Check out our story highlights for our first ever tap-build! #lego #legoarchitecture #legowhitehouse #legoinstagram #legophotography #tapbuild #usa #america #whitehouse #legocreator #legofun
A post shared by Mini Master Builder (@mini_master_lego_builder) on Feb 20, 2020 at 12:56pm PST
Lego fan site and seller Brick Loft tweeted a picture of the email, confirming the products that Lego has asked advertisers to halt marketing.
Hey @LEGO_Group can you elaborate? Is it #BlackOutTuesday ? We all firmly believe #BlackLivesMattter . For decades #LEGO police & fire rescue have been the very best example how to protect and rescue fellow minifigs and kids playing. What kind of message are you making here?? pic.twitter.com/ZoLg2HlJTj
— Brick Loft (@BrickLoftOrg) June 2, 2020
This week, Lego also released a three-part statement to its social media channels that reads "We stand with the black community against racism and inequality." The second part continues "There is much to do." The final part announces the company's plan to "donate $4 million to organizations dedicated to supporting black children and educating all children about racial equality."
Currently, the products on the list are still for sale on Lego's website, as the manufacturer has only asked for advertisements of these products/sets to be stripped. We will update if it takes further action.
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