Milk and Cookies

What’s wrong with this picture?  The article was in the Huffington Post.

UPDATE: A representative from Kraft Foods reached out to HuffPost Food to clarify the origins of this ad. The ad was created by Kraft’s ad agency, Cheil Worldwide, for a one-time use at an advertising forum and was not intended for public distribution or use with consumers.


Oreo as a brand is typically known as fun and kid-friendly. Those delightful birthday cake Oreos are a treat for the whole family to enjoy! But even Oreo can push boundaries sometimes. A recent ad in South Korea from Agency Cheil Worldwide features a baby breastfeeding, with the mother’s nipple partially exposed. Alongside the ad is Oreo’s slogan: “Milk’s favorite cookie.”

We’ll give Oreo credit for using a different kind of milk than what comes in a carton, but the provocative ad might have a narrow reach. Perhaps the company has found reason to target breastfeeding women, or Mayim Bialik fans. (Or those that enjoy watching a woman breastfeed, we suppose).

Get over it! Nursing mothers and their babies are not an affront to anyone’s obsolete sense of modesty or prurient curiosity!  This ad may be exploitive, but those who find it offensive or “provocative” are way behind the times.

My generation of young mothers had to fight for the right to choose natural childbirth and to nurse our babies. My mother, my mother-in-law, my aunts and my sister were outraged that I would choose anything so primitive, so painful, so inconvenient, so risky, so unsanitary, so foreign! Right up to the last minute there was pressure to change my mind.

We were part of an experimental pilot project, and my husband trained as my labor coach and was in the delivery room… more shock and horror! I had something called “rooming in” and “nursing on demand”, both considered major inconveniences to hospital routine, back at the time new mothers were hospitalized for a whole week!

But we were young feminists, and eventually we prevailed, even against our doctors!  Mind you, there were compromises. Our babies were never taken out to visit or to a store; there were no change tables in washrooms, or nurseries in churches. Although it was still legal to hold your baby on your lap in the front seat of a moving vehicle, we  stayed at home, and had a lovely quiet time together.

The new new mothers can opt to have their babies at home, with a room full of people cheering them on and taking pictures. Anyone can visit. They can… and do… get back to regular activities as soon as they choose, and they can nurse their babies any time, any place. Bravo!

The use of this image in an ad is no worse than the sexually provocative poses found page after page in any fashion magazine. We have even seen full term pregnant bellies in full colour on magazine covers! Not that the analogy proves anything in this instance.

But here is plenty wrong with the ad. First I think it is wrong to try to exploit a tender, intimate, and usually private moment between mother and child to sell cookies.

Second, the whole image is so fake! This baby is not nursing, has not latched on, is awkwardly posed, is looking at the cookie, instead of mother. This model is not a nursing mother, isn’t holding the baby securely, is far more exposed than she needs to be or would choose to be. Fake, fake, fake!

And last, but not least,  when the story “got out” and Kraft foods issued its disclaimer, this is the image that accompanied the story.

A blue star, like a fig leaf.  Now that is offensive!

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