An ad from Dove that ran in the U.K. has many people up in arms.
In April, the company announced it was launching a new Baby Dove range of products. Dove promoted the line around the idea that it encourages parents to “trust their way.” One ad includes a photo of a crying baby and reads, “40% are for feeding him when he cries. 60% are passionately against it. What’s your way?”
One Baby Dove ad in particular, though, isn’t sitting well with customers. The ad features a woman breastfeeding her child and reads, “75% of people say breastfeeding in public is fine. 25% say put them away. What’s your way?”
Many consumers criticized Dove, which is owned by Unilever, for seemingly supporting people who think moms shouldn’t nurse in public.
According to the BBC, the Advertising Standards Authority in the U.K. has received 151 complaints about Dove’s ad suggesting it offers a negative portrayal of breastfeeding in public. Many of the complaints also noted that Dove did not make it clear where the statistics used on the ad originated.
Baby Dove responded to the criticism on social media on Tuesday by saying the company thinks “there is no single right way when it comes to being a parent.”
On Saturday, “The Unmumsy Mom” blogger Sarah Turner, who has more than half a million followers on Facebook, joined the discussion about the Dove ads and left a post on the company’s Facebook page. In the open letter, she explained why the ads were harmful and suggested that Dove’s idea for the campaign had “gone wrong.”
“It’s 2017, Dove, no woman should be made to feel ashamed for feeding their baby in public,” Turner wrote. “If you are standing with people who think breastfeeding in public is not okay, are you also with them if they ask a breastfeeding mum to cover up, or if they think she would be better off sat feeding in a restaurant toilet so it doesn’t cause embarrassment to the other diners who just can’t risk the discomfort of seeing a flash of boob as a baby has his dinner, too?”
She also asked the company to think twice before its next campaign and try harder not to deter women from breastfeeding in public.
“By all means support a range of parenting CHOICES but please do not offer your support to a dangerous ATTITUDE that could put new mums off breastfeeding in public,” she wrote. “I’m not sure what you were trying to achieve with this message but in my opinion you have fallen disappointingly short of supporting women.”