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Marks and Spencer will market all toys as gender neutral by spring 2014

Let Toys Be Toys salutes M&S move

Let Toys Be Toys are celebrating today after Marks and Spencer stated it is to market all toys as gender neutral by spring 2014.

The group started putting pressure on Marks and Spencer at the beginning of 2013 after mystery shoppers found toy marketing at the store to be one of the most gendered on the High Street.

This included science and tech-themed toys branded as ‘boy stuff’, and craft toys branded as ‘Lil’ Miss Arty’.

“We’re really pleased that Marks and Spencer have publicly committed to leave behind these outdated stereotypes," said Kerry Brennan from Let Toys Be Toys.

"Girls can enjoy tech and science, and boys love arts and crafts too – why turn them away?

"It’s especially good that Marks and Spencer are tackling their packaging too, as the problem of sexism in the toyshop goes far beyond just the retailers’ signs.

"In many stores, pink-and-blue colour coding, gender-specific packaging and promotion of toys continue to send the message that some interests are only for boys, and others only for girls. "

Twelve toy retailers have now agreed to take down gendered signs following discussions with Let Toys Be Toys, and the group’s recent survey revealed a 60 per cent reduction in shops using gendered signage in their toy departments since the campaign began.

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