Back in December, two moms whose daughters had lost their hair due to cancer treatment contacted Mattel, the makers of Barbie, to see if the company would be interested in producing a bald Barbie as a role model to their own and other young girls.
According to Brand Republic’s account, Mattel sent Jane Bingham and Beckie Sypin a stock letter saying that it “does not take unsolicited ideas from outside sources.”
Undeterred, the women put up a Facebook fan page entitled “Beautiful and Bald Barbie! Let’s see if we can get it made,” and it duly received more than 137,000 “likes.” As a result, Brand Republic reports that Mattel is now addressing the issue more directly.[more]
“We are honored that Jane Bingham and Beckie Sypin believe that Barbie could be the face of such an important cause,” a spokesperson said, according to the site. “Mattel appreciates and respects the passion that has been built up for the request for a bald Barbie doll.”
While it’s not wigging out, Mattel isn’t committing to get a hairless Barbie onto production lines. (Think of all the production costs they’d save by not having hair. Barbie’s receding hairline could lead to a thicker bottom line.)
“The obvious thing to do would be to release a limited edition bald Barbie with a percentage of the proceeds going to charity,” said Robin Grant, managing director at the social-media agency We are Social, according to Brand Republic. “Some companies have a fear of being seen to bow to consumer pressure – but corporate marketing teams must guard against being unchanging and monolithic.”