Motrin’s new ad attacks babywearing, insults moms

Have you seen the new online Motrin ad? You know, the one where they attack babywearing and insult moms in an effort to sell their drugs? Watch it here (at least until they take it down) or it’s also on YouTube.

Motrin, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?? Oh yeah, you weren’t.

Thanks to Barb for typing out the video verbatim:

In case they pull the ad from their front page by the time you’re reading this (I sure hope they trash the entire campaign, and fast), I’m quoting the little video on their website front page, which they call a “Mom-versation“. The phrases in bold are my emphasis, though they have even better emphasis in the graphics in their ad.

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 bod 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.

Here’s the response I just emailed them:

Motrin’s new ad campaign targeting babywearing is offensive, disrespectful and wrong on so many levels. If a mom is experiencing significant pain from wearing her baby, then she needs to adjust her carrier/sling or try another one. Babywearing has so many proven benefits to both mom and baby and women have been wearing babies since the beginning of time. Stop disrespecting us moms, Motrin. Unlike our babies, we weren’t born yesterday and we will take our $ elsewhere.

Me with Julian (2 wks old) in the MobyPersonally, I LOVED wearing my kids. My favorite carrier was the Ergo, though I also really liked the Moby Wrap. I loved having them close and safe, especially out in crowds and when I wanted to be able to get around easily without lugging a stroller. Oh yeah and there was the time I was able to nurse my son hands-free while he was in the Moby and we were out for a walk in the middle of winter without taking him out into the cold. That was pretty cool. 🙂

Does the Motrin ad bother you? Let Motrin know what you think. Contact Motrin and then feel free to boycott them (Johnson & Johnson owns both Motrin and Tylenol). I happen to go through a lot of Ibuprofen because I get migraines on a regular basis, but I use generic Ibuprofen and it works just fine and is cheaper too!

Edited to add:
If you weren’t on Twitter Saturday night, you missed the onslaught of comments about the Motrin ad, but Katja Presnal at Ladybug Landings summed it up nicely in the video she made including many of the Tweets in response to Motrin: Motrin Makes Moms Mad. There are even a few pics of me wearing Julian in there, and one of Ava wearing her baby doll. 🙂 (Ava was soo happy to be included in the video. Thanks, Katja!)

Also, please check out my follow-up post: We’ve blogged and tweeted the Motrin ad. What can moms do next?
And lastly, Motrin responds and removes online ad: Motrin’s email response to the onslaught of complaints over the babywearing ad

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74 thoughts on “Motrin’s new ad attacks babywearing, insults moms”

  1. This ad campaign was obviously dreamed up by non-parents. I’ve experienced pain from carrying a baby on my hip, but never from carrying them in a carrier. Duh! The carrier protects you from the pain of not distributing the weight.

  2. I have worn my son from day one, first in a Moby and then an Ergo. Ergo was one of his first words and even now at 2 he asks to be worn especially after a tantrum. It’s been anything but a pain for me, easily one of the more fun parts of mothering!

  3. Do they really actually say, “these things…” referring to actual babies? WOW. And then they have the nerve to have a woman say that wearing a baby makes her “look like an official mom.” ?!? Excuse me? What does an official mom actually look like? Is there a cookie cutter mold that we’re all supposed to fit into?

    I haven’t seen the ad but I cannot possibly imagine that anyone behind the scenes is a mom, or they’d NEVER even think about using this campaign to actually try and sell something.

    Good luck to them. They just bit off the hand that used to feed them.

  4. This is my favorite part:

    But what about ME?

    Yes, because as a mom it’s all about you.

    I literally gasped when I watched the ad.

    Hey Motrin, here’s a clue, we moms who baby wear might just be the kind of moms who pay enough attention to our babies to know when they might need some fever reducers. Guess what kind of fever reducer I’m not going to buy?

  5. The condescending tone of the woman in the ad is a large part of the problem. It is also just plain offensive. Mothers don’t wear baby slings to be fashionable or trendy. Moms are not “crazy” either as the ad suggests. Where were Motrin’s focus groups? I can’t believe the ad made it online.

  6. I heard about this earlier today via email but wasn’t going to write anything on it since we are leaving in six hours for an overseas vacation. Then I sat down to catch up on my blog reading and had to check out the ad. Ugh. That ended my relaxing reading. Isn’t it ironic that this comes out during IBW?

  7. Has anyone come up with a “ban Motrin” (and parent mega-corp – whoever they are) campaign icon yet? If I had a snit of photoshop skill, I’d do it. I’m royally honked off and they will hear about it. I’ll post my comment to them when I have a chance to cool down and write.

  8. Very interesting ad. What were they thinking? I guess they were trying to be light hearted or ironic…..difficult combination to do successfully. And fail they sure did.

    Stumbled your post.

  9. I should have been taping my husband’s expression when I showed him the Motrin ad, his reaction was so funny. He’s worn all our babies (we just had our fifth little one.) Though we disagree on which carrier we like best (we each have our own type) we both agree wearing our babies has been wonderful. 🙂

  10. I saw you Twittering about this last night and saved all the links you posted. I plan on blogging about it and linking to you. Thanks for passing it all along!

  11. OH my gosh! I went over and watched the ad myself. That is insulting. It twists things up and confuses things. Its crap plain and simple. I’ll be contacting them, boycotting their otherwise fantastic products and screaming from the rooftops how insulting this is.

  12. Okay..what were they thinking?

    That woman sounds totally stupid. “What about ME?” she asks.

    “It totally makes me feel like an official Mom” she says.


    I have never heard anything so…self-absorbed.

    I never had any pain from wearing my baby (when she was a baby). And it looks like alot of others didn’t have that sort of problem either.

    So, they have NO IDEA what they’re talking about.

  13. I already emailed the company. Now, I didn’t wear my baby like some do, but I know the benefits (and I’d like to do this with my next kiddo). And I know it doesn’t hurt (I did have a backpack) if you wear it right.

  14. Wow, talk about an advertising FAIL. I’m not sure that an apology is necessary, but Motrin should definitely reexamine how they gather info on what will appeal to their target market.

    This reminds me of those terrible Brooke Shields VW ads that seem to mock the very women they’re trying to sell to. So bizarre.

  15. OMG. I am in SHOCK. What idiot thought that up??

    I wore both my babies, with a Bjorn when they were little and a Maya Wrap Sling for the second child. I loved how I could nurse her hands free while also making my toddler lunch!

    Suck it, Motrin, you screwed up big time!

  16. Ahhh yes. Babywearing “official” moms look crazy and tired. IF ONLY I could stop wearing my baby! I’d lose my official title, but I’d no longer look crazy and tired.

    Nice idea to insult the people you’d like to buy your product… *snort*

  17. I am the least crunchy or down-to-earth mom. That being said, for some reason I ended up wearing our third child and it was the most amazing experience!! I felt far more connected and ye, I did actually feel more official — but not for the condescending reason implied in this insulting ad. When I was wearing our baby, I felt a connection with the hundreds of generations of mothers worldwide who have used some sort of sling (or other apparatus) as part of their mothering.

  18. Oh my! I especially love the part about how you ‘officially look like a mom’. When don’t you officially look like a mom when you have your child with you? Should we put the stroller on a 50 foot leash and pull it behind us so we don’t have to look like a mom? Heaven forbid.

    That is the most ridiculous commercial ever! I loved wearing my baby, it was actually more comfortable than being pregnant.

  19. Ladies, get a sense of humor.
    If you are offended, you are doing the right thing by passing on your opinion. However, was it really a deliberate attempt to berate babywearing moms? Don’t take yourself so seriously.

    Sounds like Motrin folks are already apologetic. Be nice and show your class!

  20. The ad isn’t very good, but I don’t really get why this is upsetting to so many of you.

    I wore my kid. It often hurt. But so what? Do you think people won’t wear their kid because of this?

    Actually, it’d be funnier if it were more absurd/mean, but they totally softened it as the end.

    I just feel like I don’t get the anger at all.

  21. I don’t know what all the fuss is. I tried to use a snuggly and it hurt. Also it was very hot and messy. My back hurt all the time and with my milk in it was painful having the baby against me all the time. The Motrin ad didn’t not say “stop wearing your baby”

    There are a lot of other more important problems to worry about.

  22. wow.
    heated debate, huh?
    i can see it from both sides.
    for one…
    i LOVED wearing my girls. and if you have the RIGHT carrier…it doesn’t hurt. this is a dumb excuse for a commercial! in all honesty…my kid crying and NOT in a carrier…gives me more of a headache. and it’s SO not a fashion statement! yep…that’s exactly why i had kids. to wear them. ’cause it looks so cool.
    on the other hand. there are so many pressing issues in the world. we can take offense…but then we must make it known. and i can see that plenty of people are letting the company know.
    and quite honestly…i think that’s the most powerful and uplifting part of this debate. that women are taking a stand.

  23. OMG! This ad makes it sound as though someone would wear a baby as a fashion statement, not for the good of child and mother. What’s next, Motrin for the pain and inconvience of breast feeding? Get a grip Motrin! Thank goodness the ad is gone. Even the link to email them doesnt work – nice job everyone.

  24. I fixed them, I hit makers of Motrin where it HURTS THEM 🙂 I TAKE a better alternative, a natural alternative pain killer and it WORKS ! It’s also better for ME!!

    I will offer a free bottle in a giveaway shortly watch my blog for that!

  25. I can see where it could be seen as offensive though I really don’t see it as an attack on babywearing. But mainly I can relate to the ad. As a mom I am constantly putting my child above myself and that sometimes means that I am in pain, or hungry, or dirty. And I can also relate to the idea of doing something because we feel that we are supposed to- I hate the way moms judge other moms.

  26. “OMG! This ad makes it sound as though someone would wear a baby as a fashion statement, not for the good of child and mother.”

    Babywearing has become more fashionable, compared to 10, 20, 30 years ago. Why is that so controversial? Many mainstream parents are trying it, because they perceive it as the hot new thing. What was wrong with Motrin acknowledging that? Do you only want to believe that parents babywear because they are True Believers in babywearing? That’s not true.

    “What’s next, Motrin for the pain and inconvience of breast feeding? Get a grip Motrin!”

    If a nipple cream advertises itself as a solution for the pain associated with breastfeeding, do they need to get a grip too? Seems to me Motrin just played back what they hear in focus groups. Babywearing is the new thing (our mothers didn’t do it), and supposedly it’s better (though our moms put us in strollers and we turned out ok), and it seems like a good enough idea, but boy, it sure hurts at times. What’s the lack of truth in that?

    Is it that babywearing “shouldn’t” hurt? By the same token, nipple creams shouldn’t exist, since nursing “shouldn’t” hurt.

    Or is it that the tonality in the ad didn’t revere babywearing as the greatest thing on earth? Well, that’s the point of view that the target of mainstream moms holds, so there is no reason Motrin shouldn’t reflect that. It’s the crunchy moms, who aren’t Motrin’s target, who took offense. Funny how the crunchy moms don’t take offense to nipple creams positioning themselves as solutions to nursing pain. That’s, uh, different.

  27. Seriously~ so annoying! I guarantee just HOLDING A BABY in your ARMS and carrying a Bucket Seat around causes way more pain on your body than wearing them on your body. We are smart enough to know how to correctly use our slings to be effectively benefit ourselves and in turn our babies. Seriously give us some credit!

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