UK

Lego giveaways in Daily Mail end amid protest

  • 12 November 2016
  • From the section UK

Lego has announced its promotional giveaways with the Daily Mail have ended - amid a campaign to stop firms advertising with some newspapers over "divisive" coverage of migrants.

The firm regularly gives away free toys via the paper, but said there would be no more "in the foreseeable future".

Image copyright Daily Mail
Image caption The Lego giveaways in the Daily Mail typically ran over the course of a week

Lego did not say why the tie-up had ended - but said it had listened carefully to parents and grandparents.

Stop Funding Hate has lobbied firms to stop advertising with some newspapers.

The group, formed in the summer, has criticised several national newspapers for "portraying migrants in overwhelmingly negative terms" and whipping up hatred before and after the EU referendum.

It has urged companies including John Lewis, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer to stop advertising with the Daily Mail, the Sun and Daily Express.

Responding to a tweet from Stop Funding Hate, Lego confirmed its promotional agreement with the Mail had ended.

A spokesman said: "We don't comment about dialogues with 3rd parties. But our main purpose is to create Lego experiences for kids.

"The agreement with the Daily Mail has finished and we have no plans to run any promotional activity with the newspaper in the foreseeable future."

Lego told the BBC it spends "a lot of time listening to what children have to say. And when parents and grandparents take the time to let us know how they feel, we always listen just as carefully."

Image copyright @LEGO_Group

It added: "We are both humbled and honoured to see how much consumers all over the world express their care for our company and our brand.

"And we will continuously do our very best to live up to the trust and faith that people all around the world show us every day."

The Mail has not commented on Lego's announcement, other than to say: "Our agreement with Lego has ended and we have no plans to run any promotional activity with Lego in the foreseeable future."

Lego's Daily Mail promotions - in which readers are offered a coupon with which they can claim a free Lego toy at a specific retailer - have been run at regular periods dating back to at least 2013.

Before that, the Danish firm ran similar giveaways with the Sun.

The Mail is the UK's second most-read daily newspaper and boasts almost 15m readers a day online - the biggest of any British newspaper.

'Inclusive product'

Last week, a letter from a British father to Lego was shared online, in which he criticised the toy manufacturer for advertising with the Mail.

Bob Jones said the newspaper had "gone too far" and said he believed Lego's links with the Mail were "wrong".

He wrote: "Lego, to me has always been an inclusive product. Breaking barriers between gender, building children's imagination and confidence to do their own thing. Something adults and children can and do, bond over."

"Your links to the Daily Mail are wrong. And a company like yours shouldn't be supporting them.

The news was announced a week after the Daily Mail and Daily Express faced criticism for their headlines reporting the High Court ruling that Parliament must be given a vote before the government can trigger Article 50 to formally start the process of the UK's exit from the EU.

The Daily Mail branded judges "Enemies of the people", while the Daily Express said it was "the day democracy died".

The Bar Council demanded that the Lord Chancellor, Liz Truss, defend the judges who made the ruling, saying that they were coming under an "unprecedented" attack just for "doing their job".

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