Editor's note

As a kid I sunk a lot of pocket money into trying to acquire a full set of Star Wars trading cards. So there is much that resonates in Louise and Martin Grimmer’s discussion of Ooshies, the plastic toys being peddled by Woolworths to encourage shopper loyalty. As Louise and Martin note, children are naturally drawn to collecting things, and collecting can be a very positive hobby.

But there are some very dark marketing arts being used to push psychological buttons when companies leverage children’s attraction to collectibles to advance their own commercial interests. It raises serious ethical questions about Woolworths’ commitment to family-friendly values.

Tim Wallace

Deputy Editor: Business + Economy

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Woolworths’ Ooshies promotion includes 24 different toys based on characters from the Disney film The Lion King. www.shutterstock.com

Ooshies – a cautionary toy story about cashing in on childhood innocence

Louise Grimmer, University of Tasmania; Martin Grimmer, University of Tasmania

The ethics of specifically targeting children with a collectibles promotional campaign are questionable.

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