Modelling agency Models Direct was shocked to witness the way in which marketing teams at disposable nappy brand Huggies – of Kimberly Clark – managed to offend thousands of devoted dads this month.
Modelling agency Models Direct was shocked to witness the way in which marketing teams at disposable nappy brand Huggies – of Kimberly Clark – managed to offend thousands of devoted dads this month. The company have been forced to pull advertisements that caused outrage to both male and female parents, and have publicly apologised for their inappropriate content after a flood of complaints. See the ABC News report below.
Huggies’ Have Dad Put Huggies To The Test campaign was apparently intended to demonstrate the performance of their nappies in “real-life situations” but some of the scenarios shown were extremely offensive to fathers of young children. The advertisement that caused the most controversy showed baby models supposedly being left in their nappies by male actors playing their incompetent and neglectful fathers, who proceeded to watch sport on television – oblivious to their children’s needs. One voice-over stated that the advertisements were intended to illustrate how “Huggies diapers and wipes can handle anything” by putting them to the “toughest test imaginable: Dads, alone with their babies”. You can see why the campaign generated so much outrage.
Of even more concern maybe, was the suggestion that Huggies nappies are of such high quality that they can compensate for the neglect of any parent or carer who is not prioritising their child. In essence this kind of material could contribute to normalising the neglect of children and the idea that men are in some way ‘naturally’ bad at childcare through no fault of their own. This is extremely irresponsible and models and booking agents here at Models Direct are relieved that the advertisements were pulled so quickly. However, the fact that a situation like this was allowed to occur in the first place says something quite sinister about what is deemed socially acceptable in 2012.
One father said: “How can you insult hundreds of thousands of dads, who serve as the primary caregiver, and in some cases, THE ONLY caregiver, to their children?” But the truth is that it has not just been men who were offended by this campaign. Candace Frady Ball said: “My husband was the stay at home dad when I was working. I am sick of big name companies trying to belittle dads and make them seem incompetent when it comes to their children. We [women] may have been the ones to carry and give birth to our children but that does not make us the better parent. It is time that society recognised dads as parents too, not just some guy that sits around all day watching sports.”
Thankfully the company listened to and acted on the feedback it received and the campaign has been altered accordingly, but shame on them for letting it go out in the first place. Joey Mooring, the spokesman for Kimberly-Clark, said: “We have learned that our intended message did not come through and we have made changes.” Too little too late in the opinion of many models and booking agents at Models Direct.
This story comes on the back of complaints about clothing company ‘Madhouse’ who recently released a pair of trousers with care information on the label that read: “Machine Wash Warm or Give It to Your Woman, It’s Her Job.”
Don’t even get us started…