We’ve blogged and tweeted the Motrin ad. What can moms do next?

The blogosphere and Twitterverse are all a buzz with Motrin’s condescending ad regarding babywearing moms. If you missed the hullabaloo, you can read my post from yesterday about it.

Women control the household spendingMoms might be wondering, apart from spreading the word about this (which we’ve already done an awesome job of) and contacting Motrin, what else can we do?

According to 2005 Wow! Quick Facts Book —United States Census Bureau: As women, we control 80% of our household spending and even more relevant in this case, women buy 75 percent of all over-the-counter medications.

Here’s my suggestion, you can start by boycotting Motrin, but before you reach for a bottle of Tylenol instead, read on. Johnson & Johnson owns both Motrin AND Tylenol, so if you truly want to boycott them, you need to avoid both. My suggestion is to buy GENERIC. I use generic Ibuprofen for my migraines and it works just as well as a name brand…and it’s cheaper! Saving a few dollars here and there is something everyone can appreciate in the current economy. If you buy generic, READ THE LABEL. It’s possible that a generic drug could be made by the same company that makes the name brand, but the only way to verify that is to read the fine print. I just checked my bottle of “Wal-Profen” and it says right on there, “This product is not manufactured or distributed by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, owner of the registered trademark Advil Tablets. Distributed by Walgreen Co.”

Another alternative is buying Advil (which is also Ibuprofen), although then you won’t likely save any money. I just did a quick check of Advil’s site and although they definitely target moms in their advertising, they say Advil can be used for “Backache from carrying the baby,” which is arguably different than backache from wearing the baby, which Motrin espouses.

Motrin didn’t do their research before they ran this ad, but we will do ours and we will vote with our dollars.

Edited to add: I received a few comments from women who suggested contacting your local and national media outlets as well. I think that’s good advice and I encourage you to do that. Let’s spread the word further and hopefully affect some change in the way companies market to moms.

Update – Motrin responds and removes online ad: Motrin’s email response to the onslaught of complaints over the babywearing ad. In light of Motrin’s quick response and ad removal, I’m no longer advocating for an all-out boycott. If individuals choose to do so, fine, (and I’ll keep buying generic meds) but I’m not trying to organize a boycott at this time.

43 thoughts on “We’ve blogged and tweeted the Motrin ad. What can moms do next?”

  1. I agree with above- I emailed Lisa Belkin, who does a great parenting blog at the NYT. I see this as a bigger story than Motrun messing up, but a cautionary tale of ENGAGING moms in your social media attempts, to avoid such costly and embarrassing missteps. Also, good call on he generic, Amy. I wouldn’t have thought of that. Also, join the FBook group- helps quantify numbers.

  2. Advil and Motrin are both Ibuprofen, same ingredient, Same relief.

    I wouldn’t count on generics helping the problem, they’re usually made by the same people who make the regulars, so it seems like Advil would be the best non-motrin way to get the same chemical. 200 mg of Ibuprofen. there is absolutely no difference (other than Advil’s candy coating) between the two basic products- read the label.

  3. It seams a bit hypocritical that you are offended by the term “wearing” your baby when you have and ad on your own blog from slingcycle that states “Because all babies deserve to be WORN”.

  4. Jennifer, you seem to have missed the point entirely. I’m not offended by the term “wearing” your baby. That is what it’s called and it’s something I embrace. I’m offended by Motrin’s ad. Did you watch it?

    Also, thank you to those of you who suggested contacting the media. I’m doing that now myself.

    Lisa, interesting about generic being made by the same people. I had never heard of that. I will have to look into that further.

  5. Thank you so much for pursuing this. It angers me on so many levels. I read the ad to my husband, and he was incredulous that the makers of Motrin could be so stupid.

    Parents spend so much thoughtful effort doing the best for their children; to have the makers of Motrin denigrate us for a buck is downright insulting.

    All of the moms I know try to make conscious and conscientious parenting choices. To be told that we’re doing it wrong (which they *are* saying, because baby wearing isn’t supposed to hurt) and to be fashionable is disgusting.

    It sends a terrible message to new moms who are considering baby wearing.

    I blogged about it, tweeted it, and wrote a note to the makers of Motrin. Next up, a note to friends who may not be aware, asking them to consider a boycott.

    Again, thank you for bringing this to a wider audience.

  6. I knew you’d be the “go to girl” for this, Amy! 😀

    After reading this post, I ran up to check my bottle of generic ibuprofin (large for my many migraines as well, LOL), and it had the same note as yours.

    Off to read the many blog posts about this…

  7. since I don’t “tweet” I missed all the Twitter “fun” in the last 24 hours. But I didn’t miss the ad and I did post about it before I even knew anyone else posted about it. (I was taking a large dose of generic ibuprofen for my lower back pain unrelated to baby wearing!) Like you, I use the generic for severe headaches that I get often. (SO unrelated to baby wearing.) BUT I USED to use Children’s Motrin for fevers.

    Thanks for the link to Barb at Perfectly Normal Photography. I see that she linked my post! cool. (I’ve been flat for a few days, I’m behind in blogging.)

    And I’m glad to see that you posted your response to the makers of Motrin! Their site is currently down.

  8. I have to admit, I’m not sure what is so offensive about this ad? I mean, I can see how you could take it the wrong way I guess, but I think Motrin was just trying to say that mom’s have to put aside their own feelings, their own pain, for that of their child. They have to put them first, and I think Motrin was just trying to show that baby wearing can be painful for the mother, but she does it anyways because it’s what’s best for her child. And Motrin will be there for them with their pain medication. That’s at least how I took the ad. I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal.

  9. So… why exactly is it for Motrin to suggest that *wearing* a baby can be painful, but Advil’s suggestion that *carrying* a baby might be painful is acceptable? I’ve done both, and trust me, both can cause valid back pain over extended periods of time. So what exactly are you contacting the media about? Because someone would dare say something negative about a practice that you happen to support? Wearing baby wraps/slings/etc. is not a completely perfect “solution”. There isn’t one, unless you’re carrying around weightless imaginary infants, which is just creepy.

    The only thing “wrong” with this ad is that it suggests that wearing baby slings can lead to back pain. However, that’s not even “wrong” because IT’S TRUE! Not because the baby sling is more painful, but because you’re carrying a big ol’ heavy baby! I’m missing the “disgusting”, “reprehensible” and “offensive” here.

    Acknowledging a valid shortcoming of a situation or product is not necessarily the same as deriding or maligning it, and that definitely does not seem to be the tone here.

  10. “Oh, boo-hoo-hoo! *sob* Someone OFFENDED me!”

    Cry me a fucking river.

    Can mothers these days be any more self-entitled, illogical and unreasonable?

    You people are pathetic. Get a damned life. Or a job. Lazy SAHMoocows.

  11. Are you people serious? With all the problems the world has, THIS is what makes you angry? Motherhood must be even more boring than it looks…

  12. Count me amongst the confused: Are you moms all blown apart by the fact that someone called you on the idea that carrying a baby in a baby-sling (or, for that matter, ten to fifteen pounds, say, of any kind of deadweight) might cause back pain (which it, pretty obviously, would)? Are you that deeply offended by the idea that someone had the gall to imply that anything to do with babies (lugging them about, giving birth, dealing with tantrums, etc.) might potentially be a source of physical discomfort? In either case, you need to get a grip. Seriously: it sounds like most of you are in need of chemical assistance substantially stronger than Motrin (which is the correct spelling, by the way: is “Motrun” a moms-only exclusive spelling or something…?).

  13. don’t forget about the simple purpose of using the bookmarklet to post anything you want from anywhere on the web.
    Newborn gifts
    the reblog feature is a cool intratumblr feature but the bookmarklet suffices for everything else. no?

    in either case, human filters are key.

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