Saturday, 18 February 2012

Possibly the Most Anti-Breastfeeding Advertisement


Ad title: Torn Nipple.
Advertiser: Armila
Agency: MILK (Vilnius)
Country: Lithuania

This print ad, created for a maternity magazine, aims to convince breastfeeding mothers that without using Garmastan lotion, breastfeeding can be very painful.

The double page spread portrays a breastfeeding mother and her baby. The two pages are glued together. Once you tear them off of each other, the baby's mouth tears off the nipple, thus demonstrating how painful breastfeeding can be, unless you can use Garmastan lotion.



The title, in block capitals, reads: “BREASTFEEDING HURTS”. The small-print on the ad reads: “See, your baby is hungry 12 times a day, and that much of breastfeeding makes your nipples very sensitive. They become sore and may even crack. But it will not be a torture if you use Garmastan before and after the feeding”.

Now for my analysis of the ad:

From an aesthetical perspective, the cold, almost alien art direction and baby’s psycho eyes (think mini-Mike Tyson) seem out of place in a maternity magazine. Also, the baby appears disproportionately large, and one has to wonder about the woman’s super-strength which enables her to lift such a huge baby with one hand. These factors are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to inaccuracy. More importantly the ad fails to mention the fact that correcting latch relieves any pain related to breastfeeding in most cases. Also studies have shown that in certain circumstances applying ointments such as Garmastan not only offers no improvement, but might actually make things worse (Mohammadzadeh. A et al). In cases of undiagnosed thrush, a common scenario, nipple cream can exacerbate the condition by sealing in moisture and nurturing the bad bacteria. The absence of these facts in the ad is of course intentional, as such information would deter sales.

Above I refer to 'Torn Nipple' as "possibly the most anti-breastfeeding advertisement" and this is no mean feat alongside the array of formula company propaganda. However, unlike formula, which is breastfeeding's natural competitor, 'Torn Nipple' advertises a product designed to facilitate breastfeeding. This makes the marketing strategy even more insidious.

Sadly yet perhaps unsurprisingly, this ad won prizes in the coveted Golden Hammer (Latvia) and Golden Drum international advertising festivals. At the very least, I’m sure this ad would be enough to convince first time mothers - who don’t know what to expect from breastfeeding - to buy the product. It is also likely of course, to instil into them an unnecessary and irrational fear of breastfeeding.

22 comments:

MummyBunny said...

O..M..G.. as a mother of 3 (soon to be 4) this ad TERRIFIES me, and i sucessfully EBF my middle child to 5months! This ad would definitely make me consider buying this to help- however, as an educated Bfeeder, I know of other more well known and reliable remedies to ease BF and Nipple pain (Lansinoh was a god-send to me!), but I couldnt agree more with this blog-post....this ad is, in my opinion, simply disgraceful and degrading to those who do know about breastfeeding! Bunny, Bump n the kiddies!!

Zen Mummy said...

Revolting. I am just speechless. This level of negativity from a company who should be *supporting* breastfeeding? Are we sure they're not actually a front for a formula company? Maybe the next page carries an ad for formula ;-/

Jes said...

As a mother who is still Breastfeeding her 23 month old. This pisses me off. I've been bitten but I would NEVER stop just because he did that.

Six in the Nest said...

Okay, the ad is pretty ingenious, I give it that. Using fear to get pregnant women who don't know any better to use a product works, but this is seriously effective since it is graphic in nature.

That being said, I don't understand why a company that wants to sell their product is also making mothers scared to do what their product NEEDS them to do in order to sell.

Lilith said...

You consider extended breastfeeding to mean 5 months of age?! I'm sorry but EBF usually means AFTER 1 year, not longer than you've breastfed before.

RoraLon said...

I think she meant Exclusively Breastfed. At least...that's what I always thought EBF meant. Lol.

melody lynn said...

Lilith, I think maybe she is saying "exclusive" and not "extended"...at least I HOPE so!!

Monica said...

EBF can mean "exclusive breast feeding" as well.

MotherToMany said...

I'm not a first time mom but this ad would scare me away from breastfeeding.

I've BTDT when it comes to painful nursing. Cracked bleeding nipples for 5 months straight all thanks to no information and an idiot doctor who kept telling me the thrush I had would go away on it's own.

Double breast infections, plugged ducts, and more. Painful nursing is part of the deal. Determination is the main key in accomplishing a nursing goal. 1 week turns into 1 month. 1 months turns into 3 months. 3 months turn into 6 months and 6 months turns into 12 months and 12 months can sometimes turn into . . . well when they are ready to stop, they'll stop.

I've used creams, and they never helped. So this ad would just turn me off from nursing not get me to buy their product.

How it won awards is beyond me, unless the panel was of a bunch of formula pushing people.

Proverbs Mommy said...

Lilith, I think she meant EXCLUSIVELY breastfed... which is great that she went that long! After 5 months, she may still be breastfeeding, but also introducing solids, cereals, juices, etc... which no longer means EXCLUSIVE even if she is still breastfeeding for an extended amount of time... My almost 10 month old has never had formula, but does eat solids, so he's no longer exclusively breastfeeding...

MummyBunny said...

I did indeed mean EXCLUSIVE Breast Feeding, not extended breast feeding.

Christy said...

I am sorry this ad got the accolades it did. I have nursed 6 babies, am still nursing my 14 mth old and have never had pain, cracked or bleeding nipples, when they were infants. There was a bit of sorness with one's latch but once it was fixed we were golden. Breastfeeding doesn't come naturally to everyone, and sometimes there is a place for Lactaion consultance and help,. but that doe4sn't mean every mother shouldn't be encouaraged to nurse her babies with positive ads, not negative ones. Since their product is for nursing moms I think they may have actually detured women from trying to nurse at all, whoops...

Sabrina M Bowen said...

I breast feed (and am BFing) all of my children. And with my oldest, it was VERY painful! In fact at one point he bit off my nipple. But guess what, if you can't handle a little pain to do what is right for your kids, you shouldn't be having them! With the other two I never had any pain or bleeding or anything... And I NEVER used products like this... Just breast milk!

The authors of this ad are fools! And aren't scaring people in to their product, they are scaring them in to using toxic formula... LOSERS!

SothronBelle said...

Yeah, EBF has always meant exclusively breastfeeding to me too and that is how I have always seen it used.

SothronBelle said...

I think it is the words that are worst. Instead of saying "Breastfeeding hurts" they should have said something like "Yeah, sometimes it feels like that, but _____ cream can help." Or something like that. Then it would move a little more into the clever category, although the woman and the baby in the ad kind of creep me out. I have a 13 month old who is still nursing. And yes, sometimes I have had to use cream. But mostly I have not. And while sometimes since he got teeth he does feel like he rips it off, it is rare, and it has not hurt the entire time I have nursed and that is what this ad is conveying if you ask me.

Jupiter said...

The imagery in this ad makes me cringe...even more than that time when I was nursing my 1st baby and had horribly cracked and bleeding nipples.I needed support & education back then more than a stupid cream! Also, if my pregnant teen self had seen this ad then, I wouldn't have needed the product since I would be completed diverted from breastfeeding probably.

missmamaj said...

I think we need to take this as marketing and humor is not a common ground globally. Minds think differently in eastern europe than in america. Im not saying this in a deragtory sense its just topics and they ways they are discussed are done so diifferently. This is attention grabbing for sure, and that is what this company is going for.

meh said...

I breastfed my daughter till 2 years and 3 mo of age (she's 3 now). I can not COUNT the amount of times I've been chomped down on! and yea it hurt...but it stopped eventually and it wasn't so bad that I would want to stop breastfeeding over it. I honestly wish that first time breastfeeding mom's had experienced breastfeeding moms with them for support. stuff like this i'm sure will scare a first time preggo to consider not breastfeeding at all

oodieboodiemommy1 said...

Ok,It's a clever ad, intended to make a point that it can hurt. So what?! Ads are supposed to be clever like that to get your attention. (side bar: it did hurt at times) Would it deter me? No. Anyone with breasts knows that sometimes they can be painful whether they are being used for feeding or not. Furthermore, I don't think anyone with breasts and this knowledge of occasional discomfort in the area would be surprised that repeated suckling could cause a little pain at some point or another. Puh-leeease! I mean, really? I don't think I would be so stupid as to take such an ad so much to heart. I wouldn't think that the cream would be my only defense against possible BF discomfort any more than I would think that there a magic cream out there that will make me 10 years younger, or pill to make me 10 lbs thinner, etc. I'm just not that gullible, and frankly, I'm a little insulted that the blogger thinks I would be. Then again, I suppose some people are, or there wouldn't be a market for miracle get young and thin products, and there is a warning on Preparation H boxes that is not to be taken orally so I guess there's some woman out there who might not get that it's just an ad. I also take issue with the militant types who make an effort to intimidate and/or reprimand other women who, for one reason or another do not bf and brag about their bf accomplishments/battle scars as if it's some sort of contest. ?? Some of these comments are just ridiculous. Yeah, I bf'd my son, and then I stopped. Although he is, the act of breast feeding was not my whole life and world. I didn't feel any less of a woman when I stopped, nor did my child suffer. Get a hobby that involves more than boasting about the bounty of your boobs, crazy militant bf women!

Rebekah said...

I take issue with people like you who think that women sharing their breastfeeding stories is bragging. I'm also going to point out that not a single woman has put down another on how long they've breastfed. Yes, this is an ad, but ads are meant to suggest feelings in the consumer to encourage them to buy a product. This ad creates a misperception that breastfeeding is an unbearable pain hence why people are taking issue with it. Congratulations on breastfeeding for as long as you did.

Emily said...

I'm sorry sorry BFing was so painful for you, but I just want to say that "painful nursing is part of the deal" is not true. You shouldn't have had to go through all that pain and with the proper information and treatment no one does. The first 5days were uncomfortable/painful for me but with help from lactation consultants and books I figured out proper latch, healed the damage from the improper latch, and learned how to prevent thrush and mastitis. Also learned how to keep an eye out for the early symptoms of thrush and mastitis and what to do if they needed treated. Every pregnant woman should receive these resources, and you should have too! Breastfeeding should not be painful, and it has not been for me. I'm at 6 month EBFing and plan to nurse for 2+ years.

Monica P said...

I still breastfeed my elder one who is 2yr plus and a sometimes tandem nurse. The younger one [adopted] is yet to cross 6 month mark.

I have had my fair share of issues with overactive letdown and the like - but otherwise no problems feeding. I had inverted nipples before pregnancy and am proud to admit these are now a little less than normal size for feeding, but no latching issues. Not to forget - with overactive letdown babies do clench nipples to regulate flow and sometimes it's close to biting and it does hurt. Change in breastfeeding position has worked in my case.

I haven't had any other problems such as engorgement, cracks or sore nipples, though I too had my fair share of stress during growth spurts when babies tend to breastfeeding more often and extended periods. Guess it all depends what kind of support a mom has and her own stress levels. Leaking boobs - yes! Frequent nursing helps!

Tandem nursing with different age babies is sometimes an issue [differing sucking pattern] - the younger one clenching or going off the nipple, while elder one nurses the other side just squirts in rhythm.

I do plan to have another baby, and will settle for nothing else except breastfeeding. But this may not be soon, currently I am nothing short of a moo :D

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