Racy breastfeeding campaign sparks anger

CANDICE CHUNG
Last updated 13:24 27/05/2014
Breastfeeding

QUESTIONABLE ADVERTISING: Mexico City's campaign to encourage breastfeeding was slammed by critics.

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Imagine a series of ads designed to promote breastfeeding. The kind of public service announcement that's part informative, part feel-good and part just reminding you that there ain't nothin wrong with whipping them out in public to feed your baby if that's what you feel like doing. 

Now, advertising creatives have been trying to design an ad just like this to boost the rate of breastfeeding in Mexico City. The only thing is, they have gone down the 'sex sells' route involving  topless celebrities to 'boost the image' of breastfeeding mums.

If the ill-thought out concept alone isn't enough to make new mothers cringe, the tagline that accompanies the poster might just do it:  "give your breast to you child, don't turn your back on them."

And if, at this point, the new mums don't feel bad enough from the one-liner guilt trip, there is also the visual component that ensures they feel adequately horrified that they don't boast the same perky breasts and rock hard abs proudly displayed by the topless mums in the poster.

Needless to say, this didn't go down well with health advocates and real life mothers.

"It's not only a very terrible campaign in terms of how it looks, but it's also the message that if you don't breast-feed, you are a bad mother and you are the one to blame," Regina Tames, of the reproductive rights group GIRE, told NPR.

"They just lighted on a banal argument that women were selfish and don't want to mess up their bodies."

A written complaint was also submitted to city's human rights commission, slamming the uninformative, guilt inducing tone of the campaign: "[The advertisements] condemn mothers, rather than informing them about breast feeding, and they reduce a social problem with multiple players - fathers as well as mothers, workplaces, health authorities, and public spaces and the community at large - to one person: the mother."

An official of the city's health department told ABC News that the ads are 'being reworked', and the line "turning your back" will be changed. Though perhaps it would help to withdraw the mum-shaming ads in the mean time?

- Daily Life

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