Toy brickmaker Lego paused some advertising for building sets and products including police stations, city police vests and the White House in light of the ongoing protests following the death in police custody of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
An email sent to some online companies that sell Lego sets requested that marketing for some products be stopped, according to a report by trade website The Toy Book. More than 30 products were listed in the email, dated Tuesday, which stated: “In light of recent events, Lego has requested the below products to be removed from sites and any marketing ASAP.”
People have been protesting in cities across the U.S. following Floyd’s death on May 25, including outside the White House.
A Lego spokesperson said the company had paused marketing on its own social media and had emailed some Lego sellers to temporarily halt the promotion of some products.
“We would like to clarify that we have not removed any sets from sale. The misunderstanding is the result of an email that was sent on our behalf to members of our affiliate marketing programme. The intent of the email was to ask that they pause promoting and marketing a selection of Lego products on their sites. We paused all marketing across our own social channels earlier this week in response to the tragic events in the U.S.,” the spokesperson told CNBC by email.
Some companies and individuals posted a single black square on their social media accounts on Tuesday, a day dubbed #BlackOutTuesday, in support of black victims of police violence.
The Lego spokesperson added: “There is no place for racism in our society … Our mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow, and that includes inspiring them to be tolerant, inclusive and kind.”
Lego said it would donate $4 million to education non-profits that teach children about racial equality, per a post on its Twitter account on Wednesday.
“We stand with the black community against racism and inequality. There is much to do. We will donate $4 million to organizations dedicated to supporting black children and educating all children about racial equality,” its tweet stated.