Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Girl Scouts asked to end partnership with Barbie

NEW YORK — America's top doll, Barbie, finds herself in controversy once again, this time over a business partnership between her manufacturer, Mattel, and the Girl Scouts.

On Thursday, two consumer advocacy groups often critical of corporate advertising tactics — the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for a New American Dream — criticized Barbie as a flawed role model for little girls and launched a petition drive urging the Girl Scouts of the USA to end the partnership. The Girls Scouts said they would not do so.

Just a few weeks ago, Mattel incurred widespread criticism, as well as some accolades, for letting Barbie be featured in Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit edition.

The Girl Scouts' partnership with Mattel, announced in August, includes a Barbie-themed activity book, a website and a Barbie participation patch — the first Girl Scout uniform patch with corporate sponsorship.

"Holding Barbie, the quintessential fashion doll, up as a role model for Girl Scouts simultaneously sexualizes young girls, idealizes an impossible body type, and undermines the Girl Scouts' vital mission to build 'girls of courage, confidence and character,' " said Susan Linn, director of the Boston-based commercial-free childhood organization.

She said the Barbie patch — targeted at 5- to 8-year-old Daisies and Brownies — would transform these girls into "walking advertisements."

"This is product placement at its worst," said New American Dream's executive director, Wendy Philleo, who described herself as a longtime admirer of the Girl Scouts.

The Girl Scouts' national headquarters in New York rejected the groups' appeal.

"Our partnership with Mattel focuses on career exploration and teaches girls about inspiring women in a fun way," said spokeswoman Kelly Parisi. "We stand behind this partnership, as it helps us bring to over 2 million Girl Scouts the message that they can do anything."

Parisi, in an e-mail Thursday, said Mattel gave the Girl Scouts $2 million to implement the Barbie-themed initiatives.

Girl Scouts asked to end partnership with Barbie 03/06/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 6, 2014 7:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays make Hechavarria trade official

    Blogs

    Here is the release from the team ...

     

  2. Jones: Will Tampa Bay hit a Hall of Fame dry spell now?

    Lightning Strikes

    Marty St. Louis may lack the Hall of Fame stats, but two scoring titles, an MVP award and clutch goals should count for a lot. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
  3. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena

    Tourism

    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]
  4. Update: Scientology cancels planned mock FBI raid on downtown building

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology planned to film a mock FBI raid on a downtown building Monday afternoon, but the actors and cameras never showed up to the location disclosed to the city.

    According to Clearwater Police, the Church of Scientology plans to hold a mock FBI raid at 3 p.m. Monday at this vacant building at 305 N Fort Harrison Ave. Police announced the raid in advance to alert the public. They said they did not know the reason for the event. [Google Earch image]
  5. Support for gay marriage surges, even among groups once wary

    Human Interest

    NEW YORK — In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey.

    People gather in Washington's Lafayette Park to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage legal. In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey released on Monday, June 26, 2017. [Associated Press]