Barbie Maker Mattel Accused Of 'Stealth Marketing' After Giving Away Free Dolls To Schools

Barbie doll manufacturer Mattel Inc. MAT has been accused of stealth marketing in schools, according to an investigative piece in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Fortune reports.

Stealth Marketing Tactics: The company allegedly used its Barbie brand to subtly promote its products to children. The BMJ report suggests that Mattel’s “You Can Be Anything” program, which is presented as an educational initiative, maybe a veiled marketing strategy.

The program involves Barbie-themed events and teaching materials, which critics argue serve to promote the brand.

Concerns Raised: Health experts have raised concerns about the potential impact of such marketing tactics on children’s health and well-being. They argue that the programme can lead to increased gender stereotyping and has a "moral ambiguity".

"The Mattel materials are heavily branded—why should children be exposed to this type of stealth marketing?" asked Mark Pettricrew, public health evaluation professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

See Also: Donald Trump-Owned Truth Social’s Parent Company May Go Public After DWAC Settles Securities Fraud Charges

Mattel’s Response: In response to the allegations, a Mattel spokesperson has defended its program and sent the publication anonymous testimonials of teachers praising student engagement in the program created and the representation of different body types, skin tones, and disabilities with the dolls.

Read Next: Ross Gerber Says Tesla Is Like Apple 15 Years Ago, But Better

Image by Elena Mishlanova on Unsplash

Engineered by Benzinga Neuro, Edited by Pooja Rajkumari

The GPT-4 Benzinga Neuro content generation system exploits the extensive Benzinga Ecosystem, including native data, APIs, and more to create comprehensive and timely stories for you. Learn more.

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: EntertainmentNewsEducationMediaGeneralBarbiemattelschool programme
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!