Hello again! So as I was surfing in the internet, I started to see in some blogs, talks and posts about Stardoll facing legal issues and because yesterday I did see, while sending the message about the strange case of the missing hairstyle (you can see the post here), that Stardoll was telling everyone that it was not going to shut down (as you can see in the image bellow) so I thought it could be something serious and cause of that I decided to investigate.
So while searching I found an article in 'The Local' (a website about Swedish news in English) that seemed to explain more about what was really going on - you can check it by clicking here.
It seems then that the Swedish Consumer Agency found Stardoll as a site with quite aggressive marketing techiniques and considering it's a website mainly for children/teenagers it's being quite something there, so things as upgrade buttons or private messages advertising new collections or promotions need to be put away from the website otherwise Stardoll will need to pay 1 million kronor fine.
To prove their point, the agency created a doll called LIZA (in the image above):
"Liza" had to fill in a parent's email address to join the community, because she was underage, but the agency said that in communicating with the parent, Stardoll made no reference to future marketing.
After "Liza" indicated what she would look like, the site played up a video where she was told she could upgrade to "superstar" for 30 kronor.
The video implies, according to the Agency's interpretation, that a girl who does not sign up would remain the dour, plain girl portrayed at the beginning of the clip.
It is possible to opt out and keep playing as a normal player, the agency noted, but from thereon after, Liza's life in the virtual community is plagued by booby trap after booby trap.
When "Liza" finally fired off an SMS to get more credit on the site, she received the following response: "Be a Superstar for even longer. Buy additional weeks now!”"
I'm sure Stardoll won't close, only in Sweden it may shutter its installations, so don't worry!
Personally I think they're indeed right, the marketing in Stardoll is getting quite aggressive and persuasive, even for me while I've 19 years old it's really hard not to give in into it, so I imagine how it must be for younger girls. For now this is all we know about it, but when there will be more news you'll be the first one to know in Vogue Daily.
See you next time,