Baby Dove has responded to the controversy over its new adverts, which have been criticised by mums who say the campaign doesn’t support breastfeeding.
The adverts, which have received more than 150 complaints from the Advertising Standards Authority, use the strapline, ‘What’s your way?’
One advert shows a baby crying and states: ‘36% are for feeding him when he cries, 64% are passionately against it. What’s your way?’
Another depicts a baby at the breast with the caption: ‘75% say breastfeeding in public is fine. 25% say put them away. What’s your way?’
The adverts have been slammed by parents all over social media.
Instagram user @hils_food_and_fitness called the campaign ‘an absolute disgrace’, adding: A baby should never be left to cry it out. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and when a baby cries they do so for a reason.’
Another user mocked up her own version of the ad, with the caption: ‘I 100% don’t give a f*ck where people think I should breastfeed.’
The advert has also received criticism on Twitter, where user Kat Quigley pointed out that ‘it’s a legal right to feed in public’.
Non-profit organisation Baby Milk Action, which aims to safeguard infant feeding, posted a statement to Facebook urging mums ‘not to be intimidated by the Dove marketing campaign condoning those who object to breastfeeding in public’. It deemed the adverts ‘seriously misguided’.
In a tweet from the @BabyDove account, the company said: ‘We believe there are many ways to be a great mum or dad, and we recognise that it’s ultimately what works for you and your baby that matters the most.
‘Our campaign supports mums who breastfeed in public, as well as those who choose not to, regardless of what other people say or think. We think there is no single right way when it comes to being a parent.’
Mum blogger the Unmumsy Mum said in an open letter to Dove on Facebook that supporting the ‘dangerous’ view that it is acceptable to criticise breastfeeding in public could deter mums. ‘No woman should be made to feel ashamed for feeding their baby in public’, she said.