The educational books publisher, Scholastic Inc, has stopped selling Bratz doll books to US schools after a campaign by the lobby group Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood. The group launched a letter-writing/email campaign in April 2007 urging Scholastic to stop promoting the highly sexualised dolls through books with such titles as Lil' Bratz Dancin Divas; Lil' Bratz Catwalk Cuties; and Lil' Bratz Beauty Sleepover Bash.

CCFC says on its website that it was disappointed in Scholastic’s initial response, which was that Bratz books were important to reach “reluctant readers”. The publisher then added more items to its product list, including the Bratz: Rock Angels computer game and the Bratz Fashion Designer stencil set so elementary school students could design "the perfect purse".

“But we kept the pressure on. And in the end, more than 5,000 emails from CCFC members were too much to ignore. Scholastic has confirmed that they will no longer be selling Bratz items in schools. We applaud Scholastic for this decision.” However, the group says it is still unhappy about “Scholastic's role in promoting commercialism in schools” and is preparing a report on it.

Bratz, a sexier version of Barbie, sells millions of DVDs and has reached No. 1 on the Billboard Children’s Chart. To compete with the Bratz, Hasbro planned to release a series of dolls modelled after the Pussy Cat Dolls, a burlesque troupe turned singing group whose lyrics include "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me; Don't cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?” CCFC says that two days after they launched another letter-writing campaign, Hasbro stopped production on the dolls.~ Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet