OK, this is interesting… I know many of us moan about the over-softness of the world today, that the PC-liberal types but calling a new toy Spastic is a bit of a stretch to fair in the other direction – and it’s terrible marketing…Hasbro have brought out some new Transformer toys and one of them is called Spastic, according to the site Bleeding Cool (which, along with The Thumbcast is where we get our fix of daily geek news).
Now, it may well be – as the article says – that spastic isn’t as offensive in the US as the UK, but you would think that even a basic look at the Wiki page for the word (which you would expect to be part of product name research basics these days) shows that it’s hardly a fun term and that other brands have had problems in the past, pulling products because they’ve used the phrase terribly.
Now how do you spin out of this one? Do you say you’re trying to show the word in a positive light, trying to reclaim it from the terrible slang use? Odds are that won’t wash. Do you make donations to MS charities? Or do you pull the product? Change the name after engaging with people online through social media?
Be interesting to see what Hasbro do with this one – and what parents (online mums especially are fairly vocal) say and do about it.