Toy Industry Responds to CCFC Members

On October 27, 2008 CCFC sent a letter to the CEOs of twenty-four toy manufacturers and retailers calling for a moratorium on holiday advertising targeted to children. We also asked CCFC members and supporters to send letters as well.  We have received a reply from the Toy Industry Association and some of the major toy companies and retailers. We are pleased that ThinkFun has responded that they will not be advertising to children this holiday season.  Unfortunately, even in the midst of an economic crisis, JAKKS Pacific and Mattel still plan to target children with holiday ads.

Toy Industry Association's Statement

The Toy Industry Association notes with interest, but begs to disagree with, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s suggestion that marketing of toys be focused this year on parents and not on children.

We believe parents should know what their children want and are perfectly capable of deciding, as they have always done, how to fit satisfaction of those desires into the family budget. Children are a vital part of the gift selection process and should not be removed from it.

We offer several thoughts to guide families through the gift buying process:

-Children have their own ideas about what appeals to them and parents are not necessarily going to know, without their children’s input, if a new toy is going to excite them.
We have faith in parents’ ability to hear from their children what they would like and then make a decision as to what, and how much, to give them.

-In fact, most parents and grandparents appreciate knowing which items are on their child’s wish lists before they go out to purchase a gift for them, as it makes shopping easier. If children are not aware of what is new and available, how will they be able to tell their families what their preferences are?

-Parents do a pretty good job of budgeting and making purchase decisions. While there is certainly greater economic disturbance going on now, families have always faced different levels of economic well-being and have managed to tailor their spending to their means.

Toy Industry Association, Inc.

JAKKS Pacific

Thank you for taking the time to contact JAKKS Pacific, Inc.

We are aware of the suggestions of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood which you sent to us, and we note with interest, but beg to disagree with, the suggestion that marketing of toys be focused this year on parents and not on children.  We believe parents should know what their children want and are perfectly capable of deciding, as they have always done, how to fit satisfaction of those desires into the family budget. Children are a vital part of the gift selection process and should not be removed from it.

We offer several thoughts to guide families through the gift buying process:

-Children have their own ideas about what appeals to them and parents are not necessarily going to know, without their children’s input, if a new toy is going to excite them.

-We have faith in parents’ ability to hear from their children what they would like and then make a decision as to what, and how much, to give them.

-In fact, most parents and grandparents appreciate knowing which items are on their child’s wish lists before they go out to purchase a gift for them, as it makes shopping easier. If children are not aware of what is new and available, how will they be able to tell their families what their preferences are?

-Parents do a pretty good job of budgeting and making purchase decisions. While there is certainly greater economic disturbance going on now, families have always faced different levels of economic well-being and have managed to tailor their spending to their means.

Thank you for your patronage,

JAKKS Pacific Consumer Team

Mattel

Thank you for your e-mail expressing concerns about advertising to children this holiday season.

While we understand the economic challenges this year, we're confident that Mattel toys provide superior play value time and time again. In fact, about 75 percent of the toys in Mattel's portfolio are priced below $25.

We strive to effectively and appropriately communicate the play value of all our products throughout our various marketing efforts, including advertising as well as those targeted specifically to adults such as our public relations and direct mail efforts.

Thank you again for your feedback.

Sincerely,

Mattel Consumer Relations

ThinkFun

Thank you for your message regarding holiday advertising.  ThinkFun has not purchased advertising for the holiday season.  Our target markets are primarily retail store buyers, as we focus primarily on business to
business relations.  Our secondary focus is Mom, knowing that Moms makes most of the gift-buying decisions in most households.

I understand your sensitivity in this matter.  Best wishes to you in the approaching holiday season and during these times of financial hardship for many.

Regards,

Angie
Marketing Communications Manager

Lego

As a company, we would like to say that we appreciate your deep concern for families during this troubling global economic crisis.

We appreciate the issues that you have highlighted In your letter regarding advertising to children during
this holiday season. I would like to assure you that before our Company advertises LEGO® products, great consideration Is given to how best to provide a quality experience to children and parents who will see our advertisements. Consequently, much of our current advertising has been switched to focus on programs that children will most likely be watching alongside their parents.

Additionally, we have elected to focus strongly on email campaigns which are sent directly to parents and therefore bypass children. Naturally, one of our primary advertising goals in all our advertising Is to
demonstrate that LEGO sets are versatile toys that encourage creative play and are of high quality.

A guiding principle behind the LEGO Company is "Only the best is good enough". We constantly strive to
apply that philosophy to every aspect of our company, Including our television advertising. We want to
thank you sincerely for sharing the position you are taking on advertising to children during the 2008
Holiday season. We know that many others In the company will find It of Interest and, therefore, we have
forwarded a copy of your letter on to our Marketing Brand Managers for their Information.

On behalf of the LEGO Group, please accept our best wishes.

Sincerely

Dawn
LEGO Direct Consumer Services

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