Lessons from Motrin

Motrin released an ad on their website on Saturday.  That said this in 20-something voice:

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 body 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.

Later that same day people are twittering about how offended they were about looking “crazy” and being “fashionable” carrying a baby.  By Sunday there was a YouTube video and bloggers calling for boycotts.  Then someone called the ad agency and told them what was going on.  The ad agency apparantly doesn’t know about twitter or the bad word of mouth on it and blog and YouTube.

Never ever piss of Moms, especially ones that use twitter and blog.

Mortin’s ad agency issued this email today:

I am the Vice President of Marketing for McNeil Consumer Healthcare. I have responsibility for the Motrin Brand, and am responding to concerns about recent advertising on our website. I am, myself, a mom of 3 daughters.

We certainly did not mean to offend moms through our advertising. Instead, we had intended to demonstrate genuine sympathy and appreciation for all that parents do for their babies. We believe deeply that moms know best and we sincerely apologize for disappointing you. Please know that we take your feedback seriously and will take swift action with regard to this ad. We are in process of removing it from our website. It will take longer, unfortunately, for it to be removed from magazine print as it is currently on newstands and in distribution.

-Kathy

Kathy Widmer
VP of Marketing – Pain, Pediatrics, GI, Specialty
McNeil Consumer Healthcare

Correct your mistakes fast to lessen the damage and applogize if you did something wrong.  And monitor your name and brands online so you see this coming instead of waiting until someone actually calls you.