Go Gender-Neutral in 2014 - FamilyEducation

Go Gender-Neutral in 2014

December 19,2013
Lindsay Hutton

Marks and Spencer, a toy store based in the UK, is ditching gender-specific toy packaging in favor of packaging that targets both boys and girls.

The store had received complaints from customers that their toys were being advertised and marketed according to stereotypes. Gender-specific toy marketing usually occurs in one of two ways — toys are arranged in aisles for "girls" and for "boys," or the packaging they come in is targeted toward a boy or a girl.

In the case of Marks and Spencer, it was the packaging that had customers calling to complain. Specifically, "Boy's Stuff," which included toy planes, racing cars, and dinosaurs, and art supplies titled "Little Miss Artsy" were targeted, and both will be rebranded with a simple graphic logo and a new name, "Poppy and Blue," respectively. All of Marks and Spencer's toys will be packaged as gender-neutral by the Spring of 2014.

How do you shop for toys for your child? Does gender-specific packaging and marketing bother you? And how do you teach your child that any child can play with any toy, no matter who it is marketed to?