- The Washington Times - Friday, September 6, 2013

Retail toy giant Toys “R” Us announced its United Kingdom stores would stop marketing items by gender and instead adopt the policies pushed by a parent-run campaign that asserts that girls and boys are interested in playing the same games.

Advertisements for the likes of guns and dolls and make-believe kitchenettes will target equally boys and girls, National Review Online reported. Toys “R” Us will also remove all gender references in its U.K. stores.

The head of the campaign Let Toys Be Toys — a parental coalition that believes play differences between boys and girls are largely created by advertisers and cultural pressures — expressed its satisfaction with the development.

“We’re delighted to be working so closely with a major toy retailer and believe there is much common ground here,” the group said in a press release. “Even in 2013, boys and girls are still growing up being told that certain toys are ‘for’ them, while others are not.”

The policy switch comes on the heels of a 2012 gender bias complaint filed against Toys “R” Us of Sweden, which resulted in that grouping of stores removing all gender references and gender-specific marketing from its print advertisements. Their new ads feature a boy playing with a female doll and another holding a hair dryer, play-acting as a hairdresser.

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