Oreos & Breastfeeding Stirring Controversy

Most large companies have “oops” moments at one time or another, when they have to clean up a mess that they’ve made, or one that has been made around them. Kraft Foods appears to have recently had such a moment.  A new Oreo ad that they claim was never intended for mass release has been stirring controversy.

The advertisement released in South Korea shows a baby about to breastfeed holding an Oreo in its hand.  At the bottom of the ad are the words “Milk’s favorite cookie.”

A Kraft spokesman told CBS St. Louis that, “We’d like to clarify that Kraft Foods did not create this visual. In fact, this visual was created by our agency for a one-time use at an advertising awards program.”

They added, in a feeble attempt to cover for themselves,

“It was never intended for public distribution or use with consumers. And it has never run in Korea or any other markets.”

Rather, they are pointing the finger at Cheil Worldwide, the advertising agency that Kraft uses and that created the image for them.

The advertisement has set off a storm of tweets and chatter, most of it negative. While some are wondering why a breastfeeding baby would be an image that would lure people to purchase Oreos (point well taken), others are outraged over the explicit showing of the breast and of breastfeeding.  Some breastfeeding advocates, however, are sounding off that the ad and its controversy are great, as they show a step in the right direction to make breastfeeding a part of regular daily activity.

What do you think?


James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]sunstoneonline.com.

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