Hasbro and Mattel: D,O,T,I,S,I

By Steve Outing

Don’t you get tired of big corporations that are just friggin’ clueless when it comes to the Internet and marketing? I’m going to pile on along with Matthew Ingram, who comments on a boneheaded move by Hasbro and Mattel to clamp down on the Scrabulous application for Facebook.

The story is that the toy companies want Scrabulous — which is one of the top 10 most popular external applications on Facebook and was created by independent developers — to be removed by Facebook. While the companies are within their rights to demand that, they are profoundly stupid if they follow up on this.

This is another in a long line of instances where a dinosaur-thinking corporation thinks it needs to clamp down because someone is damaging their trademark, when actually the Scrabulous application is helping them sell more Scrabble games!

Ingram has the best suggestion: If the toy companies (which share the rights to Scrabble) are concerned, they should buy Scrabulous from the developers and hire those guys to keep it running. Shutting it down would be a collosally bad move.

Perhaps Hasbro and Mattel will come to their senses. As it currently stands, they look like D,O,T,I,S,I. (That shouldn’t be too hard to unscramble.)

(One last thought: It’s possible, I suppose, that Hasbro and Mattel are more calculating that I’m giving them credit for. The publicity machine ramps up, then they “save the day” by purchasing Scrabulous rather than shutting it down. They look like good guys after all. .. I think that’s unlikely, though; in that scenario they still look clueless and nasty for the short term.)

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!