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A pink ice cream called 'Girlie' "not meant to reinforce or cement gender roles in any way"

Yeah, right.

Only, perhaps in Sweden and some of the more left-field London boroughs would anyone think it worth getting upset about the name and look of an ice cream. That, however, has happened, owing to Unilever's Swedish arm, GB launching "'Girlie', a star-shaped, pink ice-cream with glitter make-up stored inside the stick". Apparently it also "signals a "sense of summer", "star status" and "a disco feeling". Doesn't really sound my thing, but then Barbie pink is not a colour that is a mainstay of my wardrobe.

The Sveriges Konsumentråd (Swedish Consumers Association) seems a touch more militant, not to say moonbatty than the rather dull lot in these parts, and seems even more out of touch with the basics of marketing, supply and demand and the basic mechanisms of capitalism than the 'venture capital sours milk, makes small children cry and causes mange in dogs' corner of the trade union movement, and in the form of its general secretary has asked "I question whether there is a demand". My advice to Jan Bertoft, for it is he, is to let Swedish consumers decide that. Maybe Unilever will make a bundle, maybe it won't, but it is at their risk.

It gets better: "Sweden does not need more products that reinforce existing prejudices surrounding young boys and girls. "Especially with a product as neutral as ice cream," said Jan Bertoft. He would like to see alterations made to the product to make it less gender specific. "They can call an ice pop 'Girlie' if they want, but it doesn't have to be so clearly aimed at young girls and telling them how they should be," said Bertoft".

Now that is all quite amusing, but the 'erm, sexist? Not us guv' response from the ice cream makers is priceless: "GB's marketing manager, Christoffer Schreil, considers it unfortunate that some people have viewed the ice cream as being directed solely at girls. "It is not out intention to exclude either boys or girls as consumers of our ice cream. We target everybody. "We think Girlie is a fun ice cream with a retro feel," he said. Schreil hopes that plenty of boys will buy the product but admits there have been a few complaints".

I hate to think what Sveriges Konsumentråd would make of some of the things on sale in these parts: Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Realm, Woman & Home, The Lady, GQ, Men's Health...

Perhaps the ice cream (which, if Intertran is to be believed, should be called Flicka) will prove a huge hit with the same demographic that snapped up the Spice Girls electric pink briefcases marked 'Girl Power'. Alternatively, some of the sterner Gudruns and Agnethas in Umeå and Göteborg will decide that 'Girlie' is just the summer treat for their sons to stop them from sliding into gender stereotyping at an early age.....

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Blogger The Hitch said... 3:26 pm

Well according to the axe murdering sage of hull yellow socks make you a poof will, so are you sure that you are qualified to comment on this subject? (+:  



Blogger Croydonian said... 3:30 pm

And while maybe I should not argue with so august an authority, I do have two junior Croydonians to prove my credentials.  



Anonymous David Allen said... 8:12 pm

Yes, Hitch, back off _ there are 2 scoops in Croydonian's cone _ and neither of them pink, n'est-ce pas?  



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