Hasbro clueless when it comes to communicating with children
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.
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…
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.
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….
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?
Well done Hasbro, now you look like a gang of complete arseholes.