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More Outrage as #MotrinMoms Reaches #2 On Twitter

Is it possible that I’m too furious to type?

No, that’d be a dream come true for Motrin. Let me give you a transcription of Motrin’s online advertisement. It’s after the jump and I’d have to advise any mother who has ever worn her baby to have a good stiff drink before you read.

Because you are going to be furious, and I think we all know that a pissed off group of Mommies is (and should be) terrifying.

Here is the ad copy, hat tip to Barb:

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.

I’m not in marketing and I don’t have an MBA. I’ve got two kids and and an outside voice. Is this for real? Are marketing folks that dumb?

I’m also aware that Motrin is a brand and not an actual product, the product is ibuprofen and with the horrible economy, generic might be a better choice.

I am deeply and profoundly offended. My kids are big, I no longer wear them so Motrin (Johnson and Johnson) didn’t hurt my feelings specifically but they broke the #1 rule of comedy and satire.

Don’t pick on the weak.

New mothers are fragile. Motrin has proven, irrevocably that they don’t understand that Mothers are the ones in the grocery stores. Mothers clip coupons and build brands with discussion. Mothers get together and uplift one another.

So when you pick on a few new mommies, you get all of us.

The #MotrinMoms of Twitter will never buy Motrin again. Babywearing is best for baby and companies that support our babies get our dollars.

Follow Jessica and the #MotrinMoms on Twitter


  1. Renée aka Mekhismom says:

    Great post! You started a firestorm on twitter and rightfully so. I know Motrin is really going to be in need of their own product on Monday. Crying over the loss of customers can lead to a very bad headache!

  2. My twitter id: cutiebootycakes

  3. Silly drug pushers…

  4. I wore my newly adopted daughter in a sling. It kept her close and safe. It helped her bond to me and feeling secure.

    Wearing my baby gave me less pain than carrying her in my arms.

    This commercial is offensive to many.

  5. As I commented on Twitter #motrinmoms, my youngest is 10 so I haven’t worn a baby in years BUT…I am a mom and what you’ve stated here is spot on.

    No Motrin in our home.

  6. I’d love to be a fly on the wall at their HQ come Monday morning. If they were looking for buzz, they’ve got it, just not what they intended I’m assuming. Bad, bad, BAD move.

  7. I agree! Motrin made a big mistake on this one…Don’t pick on moms!


  8. WOW! Look out on Monday, dear company! That’s crazy that they would do such a thing. I hope they get rid of it right away!

  9. amen, sistah. :) great post.
    my post about the motrin ad is here:

  10. Good job getting the ball rolling on that one! It’s amazing to see such a concerted response.


  11. WOW! Look out on Monday, dear company!

  12. Ok, I’m having to really stop myself from using bad words. What were they THINKING??

    1. Babywearing is not SUPPOSED to hurt. It’s not a “good kind of pain”; it’s your body telling you that you have THE WRONG KIND OF CARRIER.

    2. There’s an “official mom” uniform now? REALLY? What about moms who don’t want to wear their babies, or can’t for whatever reason?

    Wow. Just… wow. Smooth move, Motrin. *eyeroll*

  13. Irresponsible. Ignorant. Ridiculous.

    Like many baby wearing mamas, I learned that the right carrier made all the difference… No pain reliever required.

  14. Passing along my twitterfeed: http://twitter.com/emilyjh75

    I also blogged about it and posted in my online groups.

  15. Add many of us dads to the ranks..!

    twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scotters

  16. great post. they messed up BIG time on this one, talk about a PR HEADACHE, er nightmare really.
    i posted my own response here: http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com/2008/11/15/motrins-new-ad-attacking-babywearing/

    twitter: crunchygoddess

  17. I posted on my blog about this. Wish I had a sling when my kids were babies. http://tinyurl.com/58xza2
    I’m @merrycricket on twitter.

  18. My thoughts:


    Find me on Twitter – @shakethesalt

  19. I really am flabergasted that Motrin would even think of making such an advertisement. It is truly appalling, even my husband who loves baby wearing (yes he is actually having me sew him a sling for our newborn, we have an Ergo carrier for our toddler) was disgusted by the advertisement.

  20. In the past I’ve found their ads amusing, but this was truly hitting below the belt. And dumb! Dumb in the Facebook anti breastfeeding league of dumb. Why pick on the baby wearing when so many other things really DOES hurt moms?
    I rarely buy Motrin anyway since the generic is so much cheaper, but now I’ll make a point to avoid it. Dumb.

  21. I’ve enjoyed their ads in the past, but this one really made my blood boil. Who would be so dumb as to pick on baby wearing? This took Motrin to the Facebook level of dumb. Hey! Let’s pick on breastfeeders next!
    I usually make a point of getting the cheaper generic, but now I’ll be extra vigilant about my drug choices. Dumb.

  22. So I just got caught up reading all about this and all I can think about is needing an… advil. :)

  23. Oh gosh, it’s #1 on twitter now.

  24. Thanks for acting so quickly to get the word out. I posted about this too and have linked to you:

    I am so tired of being marginalized by the media and PR companies who only see “dumb” moms as someone who can be manipulated as a source of revenue.

    Maybe some beer company can do a series about how parenting sucks and we just have kids so that our neighbors will think we look cool, but at least we can drink beer to forget about it! That would be genius. Uh.

  25. “Are marketing folks that dumb?””

    Answer: Sometimes, yes, unfortunately.

  26. Are you shitting me? Go Jessica! Never will I buy Motrin again. Dumb company. Dumb.

  27. Baby wearing was the only thing that saved me from agony while my two year old was drugged up on Motrin for her molars, which did nothing to help really. No more Motrin for my kids. Thanks Jessica. I’ll add this to my what am I doing now facebook page. Wish I had more friends!
    Can Can’s comment cracks me up.

  28. Fabulous post as always Jessica! Did blog at http://www.thesmartmama.com and tweeting away – twitter id is thesmartmama

  29. I did a video of all the moms’ responses at twitter, this is real moms saying what they thought of the ad:

    Maybe Motrin should have asked a few moms what they thought before going public..?


  30. Hmmm…I’m a mom, MBA and marketer, as well as, a long time sling user. So, here’s my take.

    Those “Supposedly’s” and “in theory’s” seem to be an attempt to not offend the many moms who choose NOT to wear their babies. They stroke me as wording that was added in at a creative meeting specifically to NOT offend those moms…so..hmm..they offended babycarrying Moms…who, um…are the target of this ad. (That makes very little sense from a marketing standpoint.)

    Better choice would have been to expand the conversation rather than stick to babywearing- there’s not a Mom alive who doesn’t carry a baby on her hip, in her arms, etc.

    But, my guess is what they were thinking is…most likely the web marketer in charge of this…is in his/her 20s and…not a parent.

    That often happens!

  31. We included the link to the video tweet roundup on our link love today. http://www.zrecommends.com/detail/seen-and-heard-around-the-web/


  32. This really pisses me off! Sure, after backing my baby for miles in the wilderness, I was sore. I didn’t take motrin, thank you very much. Arnica is all I ever needed. Never trusted the children’s product either, now I know why. This company sucks!

  33. I am in complete agreement! I’ve emailed them to express my outrage & will boycott all of their products & have encouraged others to do the same.


  34. Moms vs. Motrin – Links to Moms’ blog posts about ad:

    Motrin: The Anti-Mom?

    Moms Speak Out Against Motrin Ad
    {Video showing responses of moms on Twitter}

    Find my #motrinmoms comments on Twitter here:


  35. I’m a baby boomer gram but here’s my thoughts on the motrin ad:
    Advertising Gone Wrong ~ Twitter Moms Sound Off about Motrin

  36. Babywearing Mom Outrage + shock = Motrin ad execs canned!

  37. It’s the “it totally makes me look like an official mom” that got me. How shallow do they think we are? I opted for a front pack so my kiddo would not spend her life staring at people’s knees and be up where she was part of the action and could interact.

    I only needed the ibuprofen post c-section …

  38. I interviewed Jessica last night on the Shaping Youth blog linking back to this post, and you’ll be amazed at the massive links list of moms and mainstream media who have entered this dialog. It’s rather massive…Power to the people, indeed.

    This bodes well for world-changing and clout re: democratization of the internet far beyond this issue, into the eco-sphere, children’s advocacy and more.

    Here’s my piece featuring Jessica, the ‘what next’ question on mea culpas and corporate policy shifts/lessons from the trenches. It’s called “Motrin, Media Mamas and Twitter Tirades: Marcom Blunders Redux”


    Back on ECP when the dust settles…Is anyone covering the Global Summit at the Presidio in S.F. today on humanity uniting for a sustainable future?
    Wish I could snag a press pass for tmrw…

  39. As if most people needed more reasons to hate big pharma, they go and alienate an entire population of moms with such thoughtless ad copy. The ensuing field day reminding me of watching the Daily Show right after Dick Cheney shot his hunting buddy in the face.

  40. Well, I am in marketing and have a fancy degree (read paid too much for art education) and I still think this ad is morally repugnant. This is not just an embarrassment to the profession but a huge stain on American culture. We have industrialized motherhood, made women the machine of baby making and baby rearing. Repair the machine with a few pills. It’s like an oil change for robot moms.

    I don’t think the ad picks on the weak. I think it denigrates the strongest segment of our population. In marketing, the simple fact is “if momma ain’t buying it, ain’t nobody buying it.” Moms have one of the most important votes for social change: the dollar. If every mom in the world decided to only buy organic rice cereal, traditionally farmed rice cereal would go out of business in a blink. As Jessica aptly points out in her post, Moms do the shopping. Moms do it all. And Motrin, Moms are baring their teeth at your foolishness.

    For the folks at Motrin to miss out on common sense, it reflects that they’ve got some real morons there. The amount of human-power it takes to air a national TV ad, the number of eyes and ears that it must pass, and the shear amount of cash involved says one thing to me: the whole company missed a blinding flash of the obvious. If these people can’t make a decent commercial, the product is beyond questionable.

  41. So lucky that my child didn’t give me so much trouble,and of course I give him so much love and I’m quite patient when i am with him.


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