Blue for a boy, pink for a girl

At the top of the page you should be able to see Exhibit A.

May I present gender-specific Boots Advantage Card coupons.

Forgive me if this is old news to you, but I don’t think Mr Bitsa and I had ever opened the coupons at the same time. Certainly I hadn’t noticed this before.

I know this is a terrible case of first-world problems, and there are much worse things happening every day.

I just wonder WHY.

Why are my coupons pink and his blue? Is it so that we don’t get confused (even though our names are printed on them)? I did tweet @BootsUK to ask, but as yet they haven’t replied.

What is it supposed to achieve? If the coupons were the same colour, say green or purple or orange, would that make us more or less likely to spend them? Please do write in if you know the answer.

It reminds me of the pink and blue versions of a toy that appear in some shops, I presume to make money from grown-ups whose boy can’t possibly play his older sister’s pink keyboard, and vice versa. But at least there I can see a reason. The differentiation on the coupons seems pointless (unlike my Advantage Card account).

I had a look at the Early Learning Centre website, which I recall as a prime pink-and-blue offender, and I was pleased to see that there were more unisex offerings. However, it’s noticeable that there is still a ‘gender’ option to sort toys by, and for some categories (e.g. vehicles and construction) there is a clear gender bias. Don’t even get me started on Lego Friends, I’m not going there.

But the coupon mystery remains.

For more on gendered toys, have a look at these:

Toy companies want your kids to have a gender-specific Christmas – Telegraph

The fightback against gendered toys – Guardian

One thought on “Blue for a boy, pink for a girl

  1. Because they figure men are more likely to use them if they are not pink.

    Because if women use his coupons (which is actually quite likely) the blue colour might remind her to buy some male products with them, which is (a) only fair and (b) more likely to get Mr Husband to form an attachment to Boots products

    Because some other reason.

    Just ‘because’.

    Something to do with the EU

    So men could make it clear they were surrendering their own coupons to their wives in support of the chivalrous He for She campaign.

    So the printer did not run out of just one colour which is annoying.

    To collect more data on who spends how much when and on whose behalf… must …collect … more ….. data… on … customers….

    So they can generate outrage in the feminist community about the oppressive ‘gender binary’ but then switch the colours and so appear progressive while simultaneously generating free media publicity in the process…… and then do a rainbow set to cater for the other 7 genders that exist as well as a transparent coupon worth nothing for the asexual non consumer who believes make up, hair straighteners and soap are tools of the patriarchy

    Um… more…… no that’s it.


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