Yesterday, in response to tweets, Facebook messages, and general ire that stemmed from Evenflo’s new ad campaign, Evenflo posted the following response:
We hear you. We appreciate how passionate you are. We are equally passionate & fully support all moms & the personal choices they make.—
Evenflo Company (@EvenfloBaby) September 06, 2011
Way to go Evenflo for trying to bring up the spectre of the Mommy Wars. But they’re right. This is about choice. In fact, that’s the entire crux of this issue: Choice.
The mom in the video has made the choice to breastfeed her baby, but rather than passionately and fully supporting her choice as Evenflo claims to do, they actively undermine that choice. Whether a woman breastfeeds, bottle feeds pumped milk, or feeds formula, that choice is hers to make and should be respected and supported.
The message that Evenflo gives this woman, and all women who watch the video, is that they should cave to a bullying relative and submit to that person’s desires as opposed to following her heart and standing up to her own choices.
That is not how you passionately and fully support “all moms and the personal choices they make.”
The video is full of booby traps and breastfeeding myths some more subtle than others:
- Breastfeeding is shameful
- Breastfeeding is selfish and prevents other people from bonding with the baby
- Moms with small breasts can’t produce enough milk to satisfy a baby
- Breastmilk is “2%” or not fatty enough to provide adequate nutrition
- Breastmilk is disgusting
- It’s normal for a pumping mom to be able to fill a huge bottle in only a few minutes
- It’s normal for a pumping mom to be able to pump more than 1-2 oz
In what ways does any of that support a mom’s choice?
Evenflo, you need to do better. You need to issue a real apology. Admit that this was a terrible marketing blunder, and make amends. You can start by pulling this ad campaign. You can continue by stopping issuing damaging advice disguised as “savvy parenting tips.” You can finish by becoming WHO Code compliant.
Update: Evenflo has since removed this video. This is a first step, but it can’t be the only first step if Evenflo truly does intend to, as they say, passionately support the choices of all women. For those who didn’t see the ad before Evenflo took it down, PhD in Parenting posted a blow-by-blow of what happened in the video.
Real Savvy Tips from Real Savvy Parents
Evenflo has begun tweeting “Savvy Tips” for parents as a part of this marketing campaign using the following hashtag: #SavvyTip.
Here’s one of their savvy tips:
In light of the video they just put out, that’s really not a very savvy tip at all!
Now I know that we here really are savvy parents, and I know we’ve got much better tips than Evenflo is providing. Let’s take back this hashtag. Let’s post some truly savvy tips for parents. Some tips that are helpful and not hurtful. Let’s turn this negative ad campaign into something positive.
Be sure to tweet @Evenflobaby, and if you want @knockedup_over. I’ll retweet all the ones I see.
Here’s an example of one I just tweeted:
If you don’t have a twitter account, that’s okay! You can comment here or on Facebook and I’ll tweet your awesome tip for you!
Update: Evenflo has removed one of the offensive advertisements, but there have been so many awesome and truly savvy tips being tweeted on this hashtag, that I think it would be great to keep this going! We’re turning this negative ad campaign into a force for good! You guys are amazing!