Sunday, November 16, 2008

Motrin Ad Controversy sent me this article that I think is very interesting. I am so curious to hear what you think about this one. Motrin has launched a new ad campaign "We feel your pain." Then there is a mom-alogue with an ad written as if a mom were saying it.

You can used to be able to watch the ad on, but it has been taken off for now. Below is the verbatim and the ad on your tube:

Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion. I mean, in theory it’s a great idea. There’s the front baby carrier, sling, schwing, wrap, pouch. And who knows what else they’ve come up with. Wear your baby on your side, your front, go hands free.
Supposedly, it’s a real bonding experience. They say that babies carried close to the body tend to cry less than others. But what about me? Do moms that wear their babies cry more than those who don’t. I sure do! These things put a ton of strain on your back, your neck, your shoulders. Did I mention your back?! I mean, I’ll put up with the pain because it’s a good kind of pain; it’s for my kid.

Plus, it totally makes me look like an official mom. And so if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why.

Moms on twitter are in an uproar over this ad. They are offended. I can understand why, but I chuckled when I watched it. I do look tired and crazy sometimes when I take my kid to school in the morning! However, I get criticized a lot because of my job. Maybe I just don't get offended when I should??

What do you think about the new Motrin Ad? Should moms be in an uproar over this?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama said...

Yes, moms should be offended. Motrin mocks all moms, not just babywearing moms. Babywearing has been around I would guess since the beginning of babies - or at least since WOMEN figured out how to skin hides & weave plant material. It is more comfortable. Research shows it helps with bonding. It is not done to be a fashionable. Or trendy. And, it shouldn't hurt (or at least not as much as toting a 20 pound infant carrier with a baby).

The tone is demeaning and mocking. It really mocks motherhood. I don't need a brand to be my girlfriend.

My blog on it and my email response to Motrin is here:

But you should also check out the Children's Motrin ad. If we speak our mind, we will be committed? Smacks of the historical practice of committing "hysterical" women - mostly independent, outspoken women. In the 19th Century and early 20th Century, lots of women critical of the establishment were handled that way. Think Angela Jolie in Changeling, based upon a true story.

Jennifer Taggart
Smart Mamas Do It All Naturally

Keep It Classy, Jen said...

YES, I am HIGHLY offended! I do not use a baby carrier to be "in fashion" or to be an "official mom". I wear it because it soothes my son!

I wonder if the woman in the ad even has children!

I have reposted KatjaPresnal's video here said...

I do understand that it is offensive and I am not defending the ad at all. I guess it comes off as tougue and cheek to me. I don't see why it's being taken so seriously. Like I said, maybe I just don't get offended easily. It is really interesting to me to hear your thoughts on this.

Jessica said...

There are many moms (and dads for that matter) who view babywearing as a very important part of their parenting. It just isn't a way to carry their children, it is one of the ways they choose to PARENT their children. I would think there would be an uproar if a commercial mocked a parent's decision to use formula, pacifiers, cloth diapers, etc. so I am not surprised at all by the reaction to this commercial.

Stephanie said...

I'm not a baby wearing mama...and I don't wear my baby for those reasons, it hurts my shoulders and back, and I think that my bond is just as secure with my children as anybody else's.

I still think that the add is offensive, because it says that it makes her look more like an official mom, and that baby wearing is a chore. What about moms who don't, are we not official mothers?

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

The overall lack of research done on Motrin's part (or their PR firm) for having put together this ad during, of all times, International Babywearing Week, is atrocious. How did the have the foresight to put this out this week of all weeks, yet not get to the nitty gritty as to why moms (and dads) actually babywear in the first place? Not to mention the voice over's tone, snarky and so 'valley girl', like we're back in high school and wearing that sling is to merely 'fit in' devoid of what is right or best.

I wrote about it here
Motrin's New Ad = Wrong Message, Wrong Time, Wrong All Around

and vlogged about it here
Vlog = My Motrin Ad Response


Maria said...

I think the uproar is well founded. The assumptions and mocking tone are (were) ridiculous. On the flip, Motrin is reacting quickly.

neynay4 said...

Hi Jen,
I was not offended and if I saw this commercial on tv I would have laughed at the valley girl voice and sling story..because I do carry my baby in a sling. Heck, my back does hurt sometime but oh well. I didn't take it personal. It seems like many commercials about medication are aimed at baby boomers so I would have found it interesting that it was focused on my current life experience. I do think that anytime someone talks about motherhood/parenting topics, as moms we often are more sensitive or take things more personally. It does get tiring to always live in a politically correct world but I guess that is where we are. I thought the tongue and cheek humor was funny. Thanks for sharing. I'll pass your link to my friends and see if they wish to comment.

Brian Dickert said...

I was a baby wearing dad for the first 2 years of my son's life. I have yet to see the ad, I have a slow internet connection. My 2 cents on this is: one person isn't supposed to carry a child all day, that is painful! This is what extended family is for.

SallyN said...

Yes, I found this ad campaign offensive. As mentioned above, the overall tone of the voice-over is snarky and dismissive. Babywearing is not just a fashion/popular trend. For many parents (and not just Moms!), it is a key part of their parenting. For many parents, it is a CRITICAL aspect of their parenting. This isn't like picking a designer stroller.

Parenting philosophies aside, the ad is plain wrong. A properly fitted sling, mei tai, etc will NOT 'cause the wearer pain as described in the ad.

Jen P said...

I too am offended. I am a babywearing Momma and honestly, if they are in a sling or carrier that is correct for your body type and baby size, it shouldn't hurt!

I don't think the snarky tone helps get the message across. We get it, their bread and butter is our pain, but taking such a positive parenting experience such as babywearing and making it look like a pain or a fashion trend is ridiculous. I don't wear my babies to look cool or trendy, I wear them because it's easier, keeps my babies happier and keeps my hands free to do shopping, holding the hand of my toddler ect.

Nudger said...

All these comments are great, but what will they do in the long run? If you want to influence Johnson & Johnson’s reputation, go to Vanno - The Company Reputation Index. See what others think about J&J when it comes to product safety, as well as how they treat their customers, employees and communities. You can have a concrete effect on J&J’s rankings and ratings.

Rixblix said...

Wow? Really? This is a big deal? The media misrepresenting parent who use a baby sling? Please. I think that you're pretty lucky if this is your biggest worry/concern/aggravation. said...

Got this one via email:

I'm a dad, not a mom, but I was upset by the ad. I used to carry my kids in a pack on my back, or in my arms - it was a delight and a treat, not a big pain. Most moms I know feel the same way. If there's pain, they've got a bad device or aren't using it right - or they may need to strengthen a bit. It IS really good for both baby and parent. I'm suspicious of a pain medication sponsoring this - implying you should take it for your pain in carrying a baby, which is NOT a good idea at all, especially if you're breastfeeding. More of treating the symptom, not the cause.



David A. Lillie

Anonymous said...

When babywearing is mainstream enough to be joked about in a major ad, then that is a good thing.

There are many more offensive ads running on TV, IMO. I don't think this is protest worthy. I save that for actual discrimination and serious attacks.

--which is NOT a good idea at all, especially if you're breastfeeding--

This is not true. There is no problem with breastfeeding mothers taking Motrin/Advil/ibuprofen according to the AAP. There is no reason why a breastfeeding mother should be expected to suffer pain. Someone saying this offends me more than an ad--the ad doesn't hurt anyone, but someone may needlessly suffer from listening to bad advice.

Many medicines are safe to use while breastfeeding. Anyone with questions about medicine and breastfeeding should talk with a lactation consultant (who will almost always have more accurate information than doctors or other medical professionals who are taught to tell people just to stop breastfeeding and take the medicine.)

tlydia117 said...

I was not offended by this commercial, personally I tried using a carrier and I found it very hard on my back and shoulders so I stopped using it. It was 8 years ago, so maybe they weren't as comfy as I've heard them described to be, I don't know. Anyways it's just a commercial I don't see what all the fuss is about.

tlydia117 said...

In addition to my first post I think there's worse on television that people should be more concerned about, like what their children might see rather than feeling mocked themselves. Personally I worry more about my young girls being bombarded by victoria's secret commercials and how they instill in them what sexy or beautiful is.

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