Tag Archives: twitter

JCPenney – Let’s Face it Girls are Smarter

For anyone that missed it yesterday…
JCPenney quickly pulled a controversial shirt from its website that consumers declared “sexist.” The girls’ shirt reads: “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.”

The shirt was being marketed to girls between the ages of 7 and 16, for the price of $9.99. A caption next to photos of the shirt read: “Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out? She’ll love this tee that’s just as cute and sassy as she is.”

You are what your wear:
The above shirt (on the right) was purchased for me without too much thought because an adult in my life thought it was cute & sassy. This shirt however, quickly became my most prized possession. In today’s world it might not be considered acceptable to empower a girl by putting down boys, but as a child of the 70’s, I loved this shirt. I loved it so much I barely took it off. This shirt gave me power. It gave me courage. This shirt gave me permission to go for it. Even today, some thirty years later, this picture still inspires me. I wonder where I would be today if my favorite shirt growing up read, “I’m too pretty to do homework”?

What have we learned from this in regards to social media?
What impresses me was how it was identified, how fast it spread and how quickly the company responded. Anyone remember how long it took Motrin to respond in 2008? I see improvement, and not just from the brands but how we engage with them. Huge kudos to Lauren Todd for putting up an online petition at Change.org it provided a place for the collective group to focus efforts.

If you were a designer, making a t-shirt for young girls, what saying would you put on it?

The Motrin Ad that Twitter Killed

This weekend Twitter was a buzz with upset consumers over the “Mortin ad”. Even as I write this on Monday morning the two top trending topics on Twitter search are Motrin and Motrinmoms.

The advertisement reads as follows:

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.
, 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.
Motrin – We feel your pain.

I am not a mother (yet) and even I found the advertisement to be in poor taste. Although many are debating if the advertisement is offensive or not most people can agree that it is tacky. I for one am happy to see that the people at McNeil Consumer Healthcare are taking the backlash seriously and will be pulling the advertisement:

McNeil Consumer Healthcare Responds to Amy Gates, Crunchy Domestic Goddess. Amy posted the email:

Dear Amy –

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

Note to Motrin: Check out what @ComcastCares has been doing via Twitter; you might want to implement something along the same lines. I have a feeling this would not have blown up the way it did if there was human face that was able to engage consumers prior to the Twitterstorm starting.

Update: Babywearing international sent a response to concerning the Motrin mom-alogue campagin that I feel sums up the issues nicely. Motrin has also posted an Apology on their website.

Motrin Apology
Motrin Apology