Lego confirmed on Wednesday that its association with The Sun had come to a “natural” end, officially denying the move was linked to a 12,000-strong online petition against the partnership. However, a senior Lego executive had previously acknowledged concerns about its association with Page 3 in an email to campaigners.
Fiona Wright, Lego’s vice president and general manager in the UK and Ireland, told one anti-Page 3 supporter: “The recent promotion in the Sun was part of a two-year agreement which started in 2011 as part of our marketing strategy. This is our final promotion with the Sun.” She continued, saying that the Sun had given more families the opportunity to experience Lego, but added: “I would like to emphasise, though, that we listen carefully every time a consumer shares a concern and thank you for bringing to our attention that this partnership has been something a lot of people were concerned about.”
The move was welcomed by Steve Grout, a father of two boys from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, whose online petition has attracted more than 12,000 signatures in under two weeks at the campaign site Change.org. Mr Grout started his petition after his sons, now aged seven and nine, saw a TV promotion offering free Lego toys to Sun readers.
Grout’s online petition started on 22 February, but took off after a Lego promotion appeared in the paper alongside a double-page spread featuring the 12 topless Hollywood actors. Grout took his online campaign offline, appearing with a supersized Lego imitation of a Page 3 girl outside the Sun’s headquarters in Wapping and the Legoland theme park near Windsor.
The final Lego promotion ran in Saturday’s Sun, with one planned for the Irish edition of the title later this week. The campaign was promoted on the front page of the Sun throughout half-term week for schools at the end of February.
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