Lego has been giving away promotional packs of its toys with The Sun since 2011 and the promotion which ran on Saturday (2 March) was the last of a planned two year partnership.
The toy company has been targeted with a social media campaign by lobbying group No More Page Three, which asked consumers to contact Lego by email, Twitter and Facebook. The campaign encouraged the toy firm to end its partnership to put pressure on owner News International to ditch images of topless models on page three of the paper.
Last year the group created a mock-ad showing a Lego-page three model wearing just knickers as part of its lobbying efforts.
Angela Towers, a spokesperson for the No More Page Three group, says: “We are very pleased that Lego executives have acknowledged parents’ concerns over its promotions in the Sun. This really shows that the everyday consumer can make a difference and question the ethics of big businesses.
“We hope it’s the beginning of a raised awareness amongst businesses that association with the Sun whilst it continues to promote the objectification of women on page 3 may have a negative effect on their brand and image.”
A spokesperson for The Sun told Marketing Week the No More Page Three campaign has “categorically not put pressure on Lego” to end the deal. Lego has no further advertising plans in place with The Sun but the paper says it hopes to work with the brand again in the future.
An official statement reads: “The Sun and Lego’s partnership officially finished in November 2012, and the recent ‘Lucky Dip’ used stock from the previous agreement. It has been a fruitful relationship for both partners, delivering great short-term value to both businesses.
Fiona Wright, Lego UK vice president and general manager, is quoted in The Guardian as telling one anti-page three campaigner: “The recent promotion in the Sun was part of a two-year agreement which started in 2011 as part of our marketing strategy. This is our final promotion with the Sun. I would like to emphasise, though, that we listen carefully every time a consumer shares a concern and thank you for bringing to our attention that this partnership has been something a lot of people were concerned about.”
Lego did not respond to Marketing Week at the time of writing.
Supermarket’s Tesco and Morrisons met with the lobby group last year to discuss the campaign but remain advertisers in the paper.