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LEGO pulls ads for police-related building sets and donates 4 million to fight racism

The company announced that it would donate $4 million to education non-profits that teach children about racial equality on Wednesday.

LEGO pulls ads for police-related building sets and donates 4 million to fight racism
Cover Image Source: The Lego Brand logo is seen during an opening party event at the new flagship Lego store on November 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Toy brickmaker LEGO has joined the fight against racism with a move that caused quite a bit of stir on social media earlier this week. In light of the nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer and the Trump administration's hostility towards protestors, the company decided to pause some advertising for police and White House-related toys. An email sent to some online companies that sell LEGO sets requested that they immediately stop marketing for these products, reported trade website The Toy Book. However, the move prompted confused social chatter as to what sort of statement was being made by the Danish toy production company. 



 

 

The email sent to affiliate marketers by Rakuten Linkshare on behalf of the LEGO Group requested the immediate removal of product listings and features for over 30 LEGO building sets, Minifigures, and accessories. The products listed in the email include the LEGO City Police Station, Fire Station, Police Dog Unit, Patrol Car, Fire Plane, Mobile Command Center, Police Highway Arrest, the adult builder LEGO Creator version of The White House, and more. "In light of recent events, Lego has requested the below products to be removed from sites and any marketing ASAP," the email dated Tuesday stated.



 

Several recipients of the email took to Twitter with questions regarding the company's intentions behind the move.



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

 

LEGO issued a statement in response to the confusion which said: We’ve seen incorrect reports saying we’ve removed some LEGO sets from sale. To be clear, that is not the case and reports otherwise are false. Our intention was to temporarily pause digital advertising in response to events in the US. We hope this clears things up. Speaking to CNBC, a LEGO spokesperson addressed the email sent out to affiliate marketers and revealed that the company had paused marketing on its own social media for the concerned products.



 

"We would like to clarify that we have not removed any sets from sale. The misunderstanding is the result of an email that was sent on our behalf to members of our affiliate marketing programme. The intent of the email was to ask that they pause promoting and marketing a selection of Lego products on their sites. We paused all marketing across our own social channels earlier this week in response to the tragic events in the U.S.," they clarified in an email sent to the network.



 

 

"There is no place for racism in our society... Our mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow, and that includes inspiring them to be tolerant, inclusive, and kind," the spokesperson added. Meanwhile, the company also announced on Wednesday that it would donate $4 million to education non-profits that teach children about racial equality. "We stand with the black community against racism and inequality. There is much to do. We will donate $4 million to organizations dedicated to supporting black children and educating all children about racial equality," said a statement posted to LEGO's social media profiles.



 

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