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Barbie under siege from book gaffe and rival doll

WEAKENING APPEAL? The Barbie brand - estimated to have about US$1 billion in annual sales - is in need of a turnaround.

New York

MATTEL Inc's Barbie is facing a double dose of flak this week after a book featuring her was branded as sexist and a new rival doll with more realistic looks - including acne and stretch marks - ramped up its marketing.

After a Barbie book called I Can Be a Computer