Friday, April 19, 2013

Request for Kohls and Getting On My Soap Box

Let’s start off with the good, shall we?

I like Kohl’s. I’d have to say 95% of our clothing comes from there. They’re affordable, have a great selection for me and my kids and I love their Kohl’s Cash. In fact, I have $50 in Kohl’s Cash to spend this week because I’ve gone shopping there 2x this past week.

Unfortunately, when I was at our local Kohl’s a few days ago to get clothing for my boys, I ran across something I found inappropriate in the boys section:

Kohls size[11]

And when I say “boys section” you can see that it’s in the size 4-7 for boys.

Two different t-shirts promoting Call of Duty.

I went back tonight to double check that I wasn’t losing my mind because I tweeted out to them asking them to pull those shirts off the floor. I know, a bit of a stretch considering all of the money they’d lose even if it were the right thing to do.

I even spoke to the cashier about it saying I knew it had nothing to do with her, but that Kohl’s had made a poor choice marketing that brand to boys.

Kohls tshirts[9]

Now, let’s be clear, the shirts are S-L (and probably XL) in the boys section, so it could go up to a 14 yr old boy size. Do you KNOW what age Call of Duty is marketed to? The audience of “M”. I’m sorry, but my 9 yo doesn’t fall into that age range. He’s a Medium and I’d probably say 7-8 year olds wear the Small.

Here are some facts about Call of Duty. It’s Rated M so that means it’s for people 17+. Here’s WHY it received that rating:

  • Intense Violence
  • Strong Language
  • Suggestive Themes
  • Use of Drugs
  • Blood and Gore

Now, will a t-shirt cause violence? Obviously not. Is the shirt in and of itself “bad”? No. It can’t actually DO anything to cause someone to be violent.

What I believe it does is a number of things.

First of all, it’s another way to numb kids to things around them. Heck if they start wearing the apparel and any other gear, when they can get the game, they’ll already have in their mind a “coolness” to it.

Second, it gets their minds pointed to this game. Yes, it’s out there, it’s available everywhere, but at Kohl’s? No. The shirts are sold along with Angry Bird, Star Wars and Batman t-shirts. In a way, it lumps them together. Let’s just say for the record, Call of Duty is no Angry Birds. Not even close.

Third, I wonder who even thought that this would even be ok. Who’s choosing what goes on these shirts? Do they not have common sense to say, “Hey lets print these on MEN’S shirts not ones for boys”? How did this make it through the idea phase? Are there no parents on the team that approves the products they sell? And if there are, are they too numb to it as well?

Kohls Call of Duty[8]

I wonder how the people on the Board of Kohl’s Cares feels about this. On their home page it says this, “When it comes to kids, Kohl's cares.” What if, for their Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program, the winner showed up to accept their award in this t-shirt? You think they’d be impressed or do you think they’d question their own judgment on who they chose? No a t-shirt doesn’t make a person. I’m just trying to get a point across.

Oh, and this is a soap box issue for me! Always has been. It has nothing to do with what’s happened this past week. Ask my daughter who’s 21. She’ll tell you this kind of stuff being fed to our kids as “ok” is something I’m 100% against.

I’m only one mom. I can’t force Kohl’s to take a double take at what they’ve done and admit they’ve made a poor choice, but what I can do is ask parents NOT to buy those tshirts. Get Lego Ninjago, Angry Birds, etc but not Call of Duty. Please don’t get your young son thinking that Call of Duty is a game he should be interested in. Not now. Not at this age. Please?

I will now step off my box. At least until I get upset again.


Liz Mays said...

So I'm curious if it's had any effect whatsoever for you to stand up and say your peace???

Catherine said...

I used to get on the same soap box when happy meals had toys from movies that kid under 13 (and plenty who were over 13) should be looking at.

Patricia said...

Absolutely agree Mimi. Kohls AND the producers of those shirts should listen ---

Chrissy said...

I completely agree with you. I hope that they listen!

Anonymous said...

There are lots and lots of kids who play Call of Duty. So that's probably why the shirt is being marketed to kids. Honestly, if a parent has a problem with the shirt then all they have to do is not buy the shirt for their kid(s). I could understand if Kohl's was marketing a kid's t-shirt with a naked woman or something on it, but that's not the case.

And if it's wrong for kids to think the shirt or game is cool then Kohl's probably shouldn't be making the same shirt for adults either, because most people won't buy the shirt if they don't think it's cool. Plus most adults I know think the game is cool as well.

I find it offensive that you're assuming that just because someone thinks the game is cool then that means they're numb. Most people who play the game would never consider actually going and killing someone.

Also, I don't play Call of Duty, but I am a 17 year old girl who's incredibly petite, so a lot of clothing doesn't fit me, so I sometimes shop in the kids section. So I'm sure a lot of preteen boys and teens have to still shop in the kids section as well, so just because they Call of Duty shirts are in the kids section doesn't mean that they're being marketed to 8 and 9 year olds.

I respect your opinion and I understand where you're coming from... but honestly, if someone has a problem with it then they don't have to buy the shirt. I understand that kid's brains aren't completely developed yet so they may not be able to handle the game, but honestly I've seen 20 year olds and 30 year olds who can't handle the game either.

Also if you have a problem with Call of Duty t-shirts then maybe you should have a problem with Angry Bird t-shirts too. Because that game is all about putting a bird in a slingshot, flinging it through the air, and having it hit a bunch of things. And Lego Ninjago because they are ninjas with swords and axes. And all shirts that have cartoons on them, because a lot of cartoons are violent. Just saying...

tkharmonic (Terri) said...

I'm cheering you on. My son is 11 and kids his age in his class play and talk about playing Call of Duty. I don't approve, not for my kid and he knows it and he knows why.

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.