All posts by jess

Our four asks of toy manufacturers presented graphically.

Dear toy manufacturers… #Just4Asks

We’re calling on toy manufacturers to market toys in a more inclusive way. Here’s what we’d love to see:

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Young man speaking, standing in front of a screen displaying an image with toys arranged on a plate, with text above reading 'Play is food for the mind - variety matters'

Stereotype-busting campaigns from rising young marketers

Marketing students from across Europe and beyond pitched creative ideas and proposals for a campaign to challenge gender stereotypes in the toy industry, as Let Toys Be Toys acted as client for the annual Ad Venture student competition.

Congratulations to the winning Team Eden of Sup de Pub in Paris, whose winning proposal ‘You are what you play’ impressed the judges with its unified, and highly-translatable campaign concept, and mix of easily achievable and more ambitious ideas.

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Tackling gender stereotypes in early childhood: Let Toys Be Toys joins expert commission

We’re delighted to be taking part in the Commission on Gender Stereotypes in Early Childhood, launched this week by gender equality campaigning charity The Fawcett Society.

Chaired by the Director of the UCL Institute of Education, Professor Becky Francis and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood, Rt Hon David Lammy MP the commission will bring together experts in parenting, education, and the commercial sector as well as campaigners committed to tackling gender stereotypes, including representatives of the National Education Union, National Childbirth Trust, Usborne Books, Muslim Women’s Network, as well as Let Toys Be Toys. Read more…

Dear retailers - Let Toys Be Toys four asks of retailers presented graphically.

Dear toy retailers… #Just4Asks

Let Toys Be Toys is calling on the toy industry to market toys in a more inclusive way. Here’s what we’d love to see from retailers in their catalogues and promotional material:

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Could a new rule make advertisers dump stereotypes?

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) is consulting on a new rule, aiming to tackle gender stereotyping in advertising. Here’s how we’re planning to respond – you can submit your own thoughts to the consultation until Thursday 26 July (tips below).

The CAP and BCAP codes set out the principles that the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) uses to judge advertising. Following the ASA’s report last year, which gathered evidence of the damage caused by gender stereotyping, ASA now intends to come up with a workable new rule and supporting guidance to act against ads that cause harm or offence due to stereotyping.

While we welcome the proposed new rule, we feel the proposed supporting guidance can do more to promote better practice. And we recognise that the real solution lies in more creativity from the ad and toy industries. Read more…

Do we need more female villains in books?

Lesson plans – gender bias in children’s books

Recent research found just one female ‘baddie’ in the top one hundred best selling picture books. These ready-to-use lesson plans for World Book Day look at gender bias in children’s books as a way of opening discussion on everyday sexism in books and films.

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shelf of children's picture books

Constructing bias – the wonky world of picture books

Research by the Observer newspaper shows how picture books present children a worryingly lopsided view of the world: with males outnumbering females 2:1 among significant speaking characters, and male villains in 89% of books with ‘baddies’. Jess Day takes a look at the results.

The Observer’s research looked at 2017’s 100 top selling picture books: non-human characters (animals and monsters) were nearly twice as likely to be male, while you were twenty times more likely to come across an all-male book, than an all-female book.

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Christmas toy catalogues

Most toy catalogues still play to stereotypes – new research

Despite a few positive signs, our new research shows that the promotional images used in toy catalogues represent children’s play along highly stereotyped lines, with only a handful of boys shown with dolls, and boys four times as likely to be seen playing with cars or other vehicles.
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Top with dinosaur skeleton, label 'Boys and girls'

John Lewis Boys and Girls clothes

There’s been a lot of media attention to John Lewis’ announcement of a commitment to avoid gender stereotypes – here’s our take.

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Let Toys Be Toys - visit www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk for ideas for resources to challenge gender stereotypes - cartoon of children playing with lots of toys.

Let Toys Be Toys in nursery and pre-school

Our new resource for parents and workers in early years settings offers a range of ways to challenge stereotypes with younger children.

We’ve created a printable poster to go with the materials – with thanks to illustrator Leighton Noyes for kind permission to use the image. Read more…