The righteous indignation is pretty thick. Amy Gates characterized it as an attack on ‘babywearing’ (a term I hadn’t heard before). Jennifer says the ad “is offensive and extremely disrespectful to moms”. And, as you’d expect, there’s plenty of chatter on Twitter.
After watching the ad twice, I can’t understand what all the fuss is about. Is the problem that Motrin suggests that carrying a child in some kind of wearable attachment might result in pain? That seems like a legitimate possibility. If a backpack or shoulder bag hurts your back, then why wouldn’t carrying a kid?
Is there some massive anti-baby-wearing conspiracy that I don’t know about? Are the nation’s pram-makers secretly funding anti-sling propaganda?
I’ve also read a lot of criticism of the ad’s thesis that “wearing your baby seems to be in fashion”. That sounds accurate to me. Every celebrity magazine I see at the grocery store features famous women and their babies. Frequently the celebs are ‘wearing’ their baby. If these magazines reflect current trend, then it’s fair to say that “wearing your baby seems to be in fashion”. Let me put this question to my older readers: is baby-wearing more popular today than it was twenty or thirty years ago?
Does Your Kid Hurt Your Back? Try Our Pills
The whole thing strikes me as a heated over-reaction to a totally ordinary advertisement. The rage from the mommy blogosphere implies that no mother ever suffered any pain from wearing her baby, and that the very notion is somehow abhorrent. When I compare this with the recent breast-feeding plus H&M issue, it pales in comparison along any axis.
Importantly, the ad doesn’t advocate a particular approach to child-rearing. It just says “hey, if your back hurts from wearing your kid, try our painkiller.” What am I missing?
In any case, it could make a nice fresh case study for the book we’re writing. We have a pending chapter tentatively entitled “Damage Control”.
UPDATE: Motrin posted an apology (direct link to the image) and promised to pull the ad. I’d excerpt it here, but it was posted as an image, not text. On the other hand, the image file is called ‘marketing_message.jpg’. If they had gone with text, that message might reach more people.
UPDATE #2: Here’s Seth’s take on Motrin’s response. He thinks it’s a “carefully crafted non-statement of a committee”.
UPDATE #3: Refreshingly, the Queen of Spain says “what happened this weekend went from smart, powerful activism to Palin-rally lynch-mob.”