Social media-powered moms took Johnson & Johnson out to the digital woodshed over the weekend in the latest show of PR savvy from that consumer bloc online.
A Tweeting and blogging backlash against a Motrin ad caused J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare to pull the ad and apologize today.
Many furious mothers saw the campaign suggesting that moms who carry babies close to the body in “bjorns” or other harnesses tend to get more aches and pains than others.
“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,” reads the ad’s female voice-over. “Plus, it totally makes me look like an official mom. And so if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why.”
The moms saw the spot as condescending and offensive and Tweeted and blogged their offense for the masses.
Kathy Widmer, VP of marketing for McNeil Consumer Healthcare, posted a statement online today to apologize and say the company is removing the ad from all media. “We are parents ourselves and we take feedback from moms very seriously,” Widmer assured.
Granted, there is a backlash online against the so-called MotrinMoms with many seeing an overreaction on their part. But there’s no question mobilized digital moms are a force to be reckoned with in the consumer products space and that more advertisers and PR firms will be giving their campaigns a final mommy-proofing before they’re launched.
Update: Widmer followed up later in the day with a blog post on the episode.