PixelChix? Polly Pocket? Barbie? Yes, all those famous young ladies and more at EverythingGirl.com. This site is part of the Mattel empire, but is clearly for girls only. (So what am I doing there? Miss Scarlett, I dunno nuthin’ ’bout little girls!)
The site is blatantly commercial, and if you have read other postings here, you likely have an idea about where The Distillery stands on advertising directly to children. It is most definitely frowned upon. Children simply are not capable of exercising good consumer judgment or making somewhat sound purchasing decisions until they are in their lower- to mid-teen years. And with parents today seeming to pay little attention to what their kids are paying attention, I have to wonder about my own field — marketing. Are we really that bad? I’m afraid so.
That noted, it is refreshing to see a Parents Section at Barbie.com. And, some very good advice is offered parents. The Distillery strongly suggests that parents read and follow the guidelines to keep their little girl(s) safe online.
However, do you sit down with your little girl(s) the entire time they are allowed to surf the internet? Have you installed parental control software? Do you use the content control features of your browser? If you can answer “No” to any of those questions, you might pause a moment and give the issue — and your daughter’s safety — a bit more thought.
Let me now put aside my self-righteous marketing cap and look at the site as might a little girl. (Once again I remind you that I don’t know anything about little girls. I’ve never even been around them!) The sites are very well designed for their target audience. Each is loaded with lots of pink and pastel colors. The soundtracks are certainly loud enough. There are plenty of bright and sparkly things, several games and activities, and lots of places to click and explore.
In other words, EverythingGirl.com and its “sister sites” probably will hold a child’s attention for a decent amount of time. Beyond that, and now that you’ve been pointed to the sites, I’ll let you think and act as you feel best regarding blatant online promotions targeting little girls, your daughters, and their internet access and activities. But as was always said at the beginning of Hill Street Blues, “Let’s be careful out there.”
Home page: EverythingGirl.com
What a minute here! Blatant sexism is running rampant! There’s no EverythingBoy.com! Bummer. What’s up with that, Mattel?