Dove's 'severely misguided' breastfeeding campaign under fire

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 4 July 2017

Skincare brand Baby Dove has sparked backlash over its stance on public breastfeeding with a new advertising campaign that mums have described as "judgmental" and "appalling".

UK ad watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, has received more than 150 complaints, including concerns the ad perpetuates a negative image of breastfeeding in public.

One advert from the Unilever-owned brand says: "75% say breastfeeding in public is fine, 25% say put them away. What's your way?"

Unilever has defended the campaign saying it "simply aims to celebrate the different approaches and opinions around parenting".

Another Dove advert shows a crying baby accompanied by text that reads: "36% are for feeding him when he cries, 64% are passionately against it. What's your way?"

Mothers have taken to social media to address the campaign, with one open letter from blogger Sarah Turner saying the ads are "dangerous" as the could turn mums off breastfeeding.

"No woman should be made to feel ashamed for feeding their baby in public," she wrote.

Child Milk Motion, a non-profit organisation, referred to the marketing campaign as “severely misguided”.

In a Twitter post, it wrote: “Please don’t be intimidated by the Dove advertising marketing campaign condoning those that object to breastfeeding in public."

This is not the first time the brand has been embroiled in controversy. Earlier this year, Dove came under fire for a misjudged ‘Real Beauty Bottles’ PR stunt which saw its bottles take on various ‘body shapes’ designed to mimic the shape of its female customers. Rival brand Nivea was forced to pull a "racially insensitive" ad that featured the tagline "white is purity".

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