Hasbro clueless when it comes to communicating with children

15 November 2012

Here’s one of the crappiest pieces of customer communication that you’re likely to see between now and Christmas.

Jennifer O’Connell’s 6-year-old daughter is a young feminist and is perturbed by the fact that her favourite game, Guess Who! has more male characters than females. So, with the help of her mum, she emailed them to find out why that might be.

Dear Hasbro,

My name is R______. I am six years old. I think it's not fair to only have 5 girls in Guess Who and 19 boys. It is not only boys who are important, girls are important too. If grown ups get into thinking that girls are not important they won't give little girls much care.

Also if girls want to be a girl in Guess Who they'll always lose against a boy, and it will be harder for them to win. I am cross about that and if you don't fix it soon, my mum could throw Guess Who out.

My mum typed this message but I told her what to say.

Whoever is in charge of answering customer queries obviously doesn’t have much experience of dealing with the target audience for Guess Who! Witness their response…

Dear R___,

Thank you for your email. Please find below an explanation which I hope your mummy will be able to explain to you.

Guess Who? is a guessing game based on a numerical equation. If you take a look at the characters in the game, you will notice that there are five of any given characteristics. The idea of the game is, that by process of elimination, you narrow down who it isn't, thus determining who it is. The game is not weighted in favour of any particular character, male or female. Another aspect of the game is to draw attention away from using gender or ethnicity as the focal point, and to concentrate on those things that we all have in common, rather than focus on our differences.

We hope this information is of help to you.

May we thank you for contacting Hasbro and if we can be of any further assistance, either now or in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Kind Regards,

ASK HASBRO
Hasbro UK Ltd

Yeah, thanks for that Hasbro. Shame it’s a load of old bollocks, as Jennifer herself more or less pointed out in her reply….

Dear ___,

Thanks for your prompt reply to R__. She has been anxiously watching the post box and checking with me to see if there has been a response to her email, which - I'm sure you understand - it was a very big deal to her to write.

Unfortunately, she is now no clearer as to why there are only five female characters for her to choose from in her favourite board game, compared to the 19 male characters her brother can pick. (Obviously, she could choose to be a male character, but as you know, that's not usually how children work).

If anything, your response has left her more confused than before. She is a smart girl, but she is only 6 and still in senior infants at primary school, so she is a long way from being able to grasp concepts like numerical equations and weighting.

As a company that makes toys for children, I would have anticipated you would communicate with your youngest customers in a more direct and child-friendly way.

But I must confess that, despite being 37 years of age and educated to Masters level, I am equally at a loss.

Why is female gender regarded as a "characteristic", while male gender is not?

Kind regards,

Jennifer O'Connell

 

Well done Hasbro, now you look like a gang of complete arseholes.

[Jennifer O'Connell]

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice   Home

31 comments

  • Her L.
    Can anyone confirm if the Guess Who?!?? - Thai edition only has one gender? That is, until you look in their pants.
  • Borat
    What if you have a penus and a vagine - are they catered for? Women shouldn't be allowed to send emails, now go get back in the kitchen.
  • Yabe
    Wow, What a thoroughly pointless waste of everyone's life. Just play the damn thing or, you know, stop writing complaint emails at 6 years old and enjoy the real world....
  • Martin
    Actually, she sounds like an idiot to me. It's pretty obvious - they have picked the people in the game so that for any question like "is the person X", the answer will have 3/4 of the people with one answer, and 1/4 of the people with the other answer. For example "is the person wearing glasses", "is the person bald", "is the person wearing a hat", "is the person a woman" - 1/4 people match each of those. These are obvious characteristics about a person that a child can spot a mile off. Just as not wearing glasses, having hair, and being male are characteristics - all of which have 3/4 of the people. It's no more discriminatory against women than it is against people who own a hat, people who are bald and so on. If every answer had a half and half result, it would take each player exactly the same amount of guesses to finish the game, because they will be left with half the people each time, making the game a very boring affair. The luck in the game is in choosing something which narrows it down to 1/4 instead of 3/4 early on. If the mother with her masters can't figure that out, I despair. In fact, any adult with half an education should have been able to explain that to her kid without all of this tedious e-mailing.
  • Lolwut
    No, the mother and inherently her kid are idiots. Who cares, especially about the mothers "education to masters level". What relevance is that? Infact what was her masters? Doubt it was something intellectual like Mathematics but something like fences.
  • Nick O.
    @ Martin Thanks for the heads-up, cunto, you don't have to take your work at Hasbro home with you by answering semi-literate articles on Consumer-Champion-lite blogs... I always win against my 5yo daughter at 'Guess Who?' because she always picks a female character and thinks I'm magic. Now having wasted my life reading yours and Hasbro's explanations, I now realise I'm not.
  • Nick O.
    Or is it 'Guess Who!' ? Either way, Martin and Lolwut are both shitheads.
  • Nebu1a
    Come on Hasbro, bald women with beards or gtfo
  • Seymour
    Fucking feminists, dragging every country they are aloud to fester in to the ground.
  • Chewbacca
    Really, fuck off with your stupid fucking emails. NO-ONE IS INTERESTED IN WHAT YOUR SNOT NOSED FOETUS THINKS. Children should be seen and not heard, preferably locked up until they're 18. Now stop fucking annoying us with your shit attempts at attempting to get goodwill freebies from companies.
  • ObviousAnswer
    Guess Who - default picture sets? People use them? Not hard to replace them with your own creation, or if your daring enough with pictures of your friends and relatives :) its a very simple soltuion , assumed everyone did this.
  • Chewbacca C.
    Somehow I doubt someone who could not figure out what Hasbro said has a masters. Also I think they should have more women in it. but make sure they have beards like real women do.
  • JonB
    Guess Who has more dogs than any other animal too. That's speciesist.
  • Kate
    Can someone please moderate these foul replies. I enjoyed reading the article then felt immediately embarrassed and appalled by the low level of intelligence and lack of substance in the comments section. Delete please - no one wants to read that with a cuppa tea in the morning!
  • Milky
    oh dear kate! ..look at the title of the site it speaks mounds! on another note did you find this site whilst searching for fox bumming?
  • Frankie B.
    Oh, it's a game for kids? I thought it was Jimmy Saville's special selection box.
  • Stan L.
    Stop annoying Hasbro and buy a doll.
  • Kim
    Hmm, I am female and used to play Guess Who when I was 6 (I'm 36 now). I always thought you just picked a character card randomly from the pile (you don't "choose" to be a girl character). The running joke was if you picked a girl from the pile you'd be at an unfair advantage - but the truth was that a significant amount of people do get eliminated each round and you don't necessarily lose whenever you get a female (although chances were slimmer), partly because you aren't supposed to ask if you have a male or female character as the first question.
  • Kim
    *I mean to say if your opponent picked a girl the joke was you'd have an unfair advantage. There was always a gleeful reaction when my opponent knocked down 3/4 of the faces on the board after I picked Maria.
  • Commento
    I thought there was a rule that you couldn't ask male or female because of how retardedly easy that made it?
  • O'Dear
    I actually liked the response from Hasbro because it had the right amount of "Fuck off" in the answer but wrapped up in polite wordplay. It seems like they thought up the most convoluted explanation to get at the mum who obviously wrote the email herself because she finds it offensive, probably because she sacrificed her career for a dullard child and is looking for a chance to vent.
  • BigOrkWaaagh
    The little brat is cheating anyway. You're supposed to select a character at random, not choose whoever you please.
  • chewbacca
    tl;dr: Stupid middle class bat writes badly written letter to shitty board games company on "behalf" of her child. Gets reply back that she can't comprehend, blames her lack of comprehension on the tenuous basis her child is too young to "get it" hoping for a freebie. Doesn't realise that the majority of people really don't give a fuck what her precocious brat thinks and just wishes her and her ilk would foad. People - we don't like your children, just get them to shut the fuck up and not annoy us, this is all we ask.
  • bonerman
    hasbro games are generally all shite - rock bottom gameplay perpetrated by heavy TV advertising, go to a proper toy shop and buy proper games - cunts
  • Spencer
    what chewbacca said.... newsflash... 'your children are not cute and they're annoying the fuck out of everyone'. Either leave them at home or sedate them. Contrary to what you think, having some little Shit running around breaking and spilling everything in sight, messing up everything while squealing and a whining, isn't 'adorable'. it's annoying - we hate it, we hate them and most of all we hate you. If your precious cherub doesn't like guess who... buy something else... preferably something that'll shut both you and your spawn up. sincerely everybody.
  • Chewbacca
    what spencer said it's like a love-in here!!!
  • Shooter M.
    Jennifer O'Connell sounds like a total wanker
  • Dick
    The mother has repressed her kid. If they play different to the official rules where you are meant to get a random character, then why is a girl only allowed to choose a girl? What if she wanted to be a man? In the game or in real life. Stupid feminist mother needs to stop suppressing her kid's sexuality.
  • LL J.
    "My mum typed this message but I told her what to say." Fuck off, I very much doubt you're behind this. Your Mum's a fucking journalist with a shitty blog to fill, getting cheap likes from bored housewives... Exploiting you and filling your head with shit. Call Childline, sounds like you need to be put into care to get away from this cunt. Hasbro are to be commended for not playing along with your little game and concentrating on their own... games... get it? They make games? No, you're 6. Bogies!... There we go.
  • Her L.
    Hey, give the poor woman a break. Without the efforts of Jennifer O'Connell and her (possibly) made-up 6-year old daughter, we would have nothing worth talking about on this site and would be left watching videos of people walking the wrong way down an escalator - oh how I laughed.
  • Who?
    If girls have to pick girl characters in Guess Who then the lass on the game's box lid is doing it wrong...

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