Baby Bottle Ad Strikes Controversy
From the South Korean Oreo breastfeeding ad, the highly controversial Times attachment parenting cover, and to the most recent military mom photos, you think a company would be aware that a breastfeeding campaign can often breed controversy.
Bittylab, a startup baby product company released a new product called BARE, a ventless baby bottle that closely mimics breastfeeding. Priska Diaz and her husband, Dana King created the product with three goals in mind: to help mothers who want to supplement breastfeeding, to help babies by reducing nipple confusion, and to help fathers feed their baby.
While the product may be excellent, it was the Twitter campaign that had tongues wagging.
“Feeling like you’re competing with your newborn for mommy’s attention? Meet BARE™ air-free #babybottles,” one of the tweets claimed.
“New baby? Reclaim your wife. Meet BARE™ air-free,” another added.
Unfortunately, the attempt at humor for this dad-targeted “Reclaim Your Wife” campaign may have backfired. Parents are now outraged over the mishandling of the topic.
Some parents have responded to the insensitive handling of the bottle vs. breast debate.
“The choice to use bottles should be a personal one based on actual practicalities, not seen as a way to spice up your sex life!” wrote a commenter.
Others have claimed sexism on both sides of the gender pool.
“Since when are wives property to be claimed?” an angry mom tweeted.
“Your marketing team should really rethink reducing women to a pair of breasts, and men to impatient and resentful children,” another added.
“Yeah, not EXACTLY the message we want brands using because they think it will appeal to dads,” stated blogger Charlie Capen who had similar harsh words for a recent Huggies campaign . “It’s pretty misogynistic and sad.”
The Bittylab husband-and-wife team attempted to calm the storm with their Facebook message:
Ladies, We’re really sorry about the twitter campaign run last week. It was a huge miss understood and resulted in offensive messages. It was taken down yesterday. The messages had nothing to do with putting a husband needs before the baby’s needs, it was more about having a little extra time for the rest of the family. Obviously the whole campaign was poorly executed. We apologize deeply for this miss understanding and assure you, from now on the campaigns will be closely monitored before they go out. Thank you for a second chance.
Despite the heartfelt apology, angry parents were still unappeased as they claimed offense from the use of the word “Ladies” which they deem sexist and exclusive of the dads who were also upset by the entire campaign.
“With hindsight the whole thing was poorly executed,” husband Dana King later concedes. “We demonstrated the growing pains and naivete of a start-up.
And the biggest lesson of all? “We are learning that when it comes to breastfeeding people have a very strong point of view,” he added.