Still searching for just where Lego made the wrong turn

The Lego Friends maelstrom continues. Here’s an update.

These two videos thoroughly deconstruct gender stereotyping in Lego marketing:

Feminist Frequency

In part 1 of my two part LEGO and Gender series, I’ll explore how LEGO went terribly wrong with LEGO Friends and provide a brief history of LEGO’s ridiculous and slightly hilarious attempts to market to girls since the late 70′s.  In part 2 I’ll delve into LEGO’s intentional strategy to market almost exclusively to boys since the mid 80′s by developing and marketing sets that are male identified and male centered.  In conclusion, I’ll offer LEGO a couple of suggestions that they can consider when creating and marketing new products.

Meanwhile, Lego has apparently agreed to a meeting with Spark, the organization behind a petition that has received nearly 52,000 signatures.

Crystal Smith, author of The Achilles Effect, examines the disconnect between Lego’s claims about its company values and its contributions to children’s development, and its marketing: filled with violence and harmful gender stereotypes.

Meanwhile, some of the same sexist attitudes apparent in LEGO friends also apparently carry over into Legoland, where a female firefighter is portrayed, but not putting out a fire. No, she’s applying lipstick.

What I find quite remarkable is that Lego is based in Denmark, the country that ranked 7th in the World Economic Forum’s 2011 Global Gender Gap Report, which ranks 135 countries on measures of gender equality.

In Denmark, according to the report, women hold almost one third of the highest positions in government and business. Well, maybe Lego doesn’t fit in so well in Denmark. Take a look at their management page:

Management Board

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp Jørgen Vig Knudstorp
CEO/Chief Executive Officer

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Mads Nipper Mads Nipper
CMO/Chief Marketing Officer
Executive Vice President

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Bali Padda Bali Padda
COO/Chief Operations Officer
Executive Vice President

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Jørgen Vig Knudstorp Jørgen Vig Knudstorp
Acting CFO/Chief Financial Officer
Business Enabling

Corporate Management

 Ulrik Gernow Product Group 1
Ulrik Gernow
Senior Vice President
 Poul Schou Product Group 2
Poul Schou,
Senior Vice President
 Dirk Engehausen Europe
Dirk Engehausen, currently
Senior Vice President
 Søren Torp  

Americas Pacific
Søren Torp Laursen,
Senior Vice President
 Jens-Peter Poulsen Asia & Emerging Markets
Jens-Peter Poulsen
Senior Vice President
 Per Hjuler Consumer Marketing & Innovation
Per Hjuler
Senior Vice President
 Skip Kodak Shopper Marketing & Channel Development
Skip Kodak
Senior Vice President
 Robbert Nikolaj Stecher Corporate Affairs
Robbert Nickolaj Stecher
Senior Vice President
 Lars Mikkelsen Corporate Finance
Lars Mikkelsen
Senior Vice President
 Henrik Amsinck Corporate IT
Henrik Amsinck
Senior Vice President
 Simon Riis-Hansen Executive HR
Simon Riis-Hansen
Senior Vice President
 Jesper Hassellund Mikkelsen Europe Moulding and Europe DUPLO
Jesper Hassellund Mikkelsen
Senior Vice President
 Carsten Rasmussen EU Packing
Carsten Rasmussen
Senior Vice President
 Michael McNulty Procurement
Michael McNulty
Senior Vice President
 John Hansen Engineering & Quality
John Hansen
Senior Vice President
 Claus Flyger Pejstrup Supply Chain Planning & Distribution
Claus Flyger Pejstrup
Senior Vice President
 Maarten Tibosch Value Chain Innovation
Maarten Tibosch
Senior Vice Presid


  1. Fabulous insight I am with you on this I hope Lego has the energy to allow you into there future ideas and make us all equal in play 🙂

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