In a reminder that the new media world is not without its perils, Johnson & Johnson is backpedaling from a Motrin campaign about slings aimed at moms that drew arrows from the Stroller Mafia.
Viral ads online and print ads in magazines appealed to achy moms sore from carrying their kids in slings. But the tongue-in-cheek campaign sparked a storm of spoof response videos and cranky ripostes on Twitter.
Kathy Widmer, VP marketing for McNeil Consumer Healthcare, wrote on the company’s JNJ BTW blog that the Motrin maker was taking the ads down, while noting that some print ads were already on newsstands.
“This weekend, a lot was said about Motrin on Twitter and in the blogosphere,” said Widmer. “Unfortunately, it was not the kind of conversation that we here at McNeil had hoped to be at the center of.”
Widmer noted that much of the ire centered on the ads’ snarky take on the practice of “baby wearing.” The viral ad’s narrator says: “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?”
“It was meant to engender sympathy and appreciation for all that parents do for their kids, but did so through an attempt at humor that missed the mark and many moms found offensive.”
“One bright spot is that we have learned through this process—in particular, the importance of paying close attention to the conversations that are taking place online.”