Children are not a legitimate target for military marketing

By Press Office
May 7, 2009

Ekklesia co-director Jonathan Bartley took part in a debate on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine Show yesterday about the MOD's production of Action Man style dolls for children.

"The question has to be asked why the Ministry of Defence is suddenly taking a new interest in children's toys" said Bartley.

"This is clearly not some new departure for the department into promoting childhood development or creative play. This is targetted marketing at children as part of a wider campaign to improve the image of the Armed Forces.

"The toys with their slick state of the art weaponry, glitzy packaging and clean cut uniforms present a misleading image of the military which trivialises what members of the Armed Forces do.

"If the MOD wants the toys to be educational they should also produce figures which show the tragic, and sometimes unintended consequences of what the weapons do. These would include disfigured, disabled and dead soldiers and civilians - including children like the ones to whom these toys are being marketed. These though are accessories which the MOD would rather exclude, which further proves the point that this is an inappropriate and unethical marketing exercise, not an educational one."

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