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Friday
Sep092011

Evenflo Update

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post about tweets and videos by Evenflo that were undermining mothers and depicting breastfeeding as inconvenient, embarrassing and difficult. For a while it seemed they just weren't listening. Then, they took notice and issued a couple of apologies that fell short.

At first it was a tweet and facebook status update that read:
We hear you. We appreciate how passionate you are. We are equally passionate and fully support all moms and the personal choices they make everyday.

That certainly didn't cut it. Their tweets and their video did not demonstrate support of moms and their personal choices.

Then came round two:
We appreciate your comments and take your feedback seriously. As an organization of moms, sisters, aunts and grandmas, we believe it is important to support all moms’ choices – whether it is to breastfeed, pump, use a bottle or some combination of these options. We live breastfeeding every day in our roles here – from product integrity engineers to designers, marketers to human resources. In the making of the video, we spoke to many moms to get their input – many of which loved that we poked fun at such a passionate part of our lives. Our intent in sharing the video was to spark a conversation through lively humor. However, we’ve heard your concerns and after careful consideration have decided to take down this video.

For more information about Evenflo’s WHO Code position, please click here: http://bit.ly/pxCyIG.

Still not really recognizing the problem. Still not a true apology for having done wrong or a promise to do better.

Then came a phone call with Bettina and Danielle from Best for Babes. That phone call, which Bettina says was very productive, resulted in Evenflo issuing a new apology:
We had a productive call today with Danielle and Bettina at Best for Babes Foundation, an advocacy organization. We have taken all your feedback to heart and realize we completely missed the mark with our video. We are truly sorry to have created such bad feelings within the community; that was never our intent. We will work with the breastfeeding community to ensure that the messaging in our next advertising campaign remains positive and supportive. Stay tuned!

According Best for Babes, Evenflo has "promised to work with the breastfeeding community, through [Best for Babes], BEFORE launching any other breastfeeding-related marketing campaigns to ensure messages don't undermine moms."

I am proud of all of you for helping me to take a stand (more than 20,000 views of my post, more than 2,500 facebook shares, hundreds of tweets, dozens of articles and blog posts and message board posts) and I am encouraged that Evenflo is willing to listen and to change their practices. I'll be watching and I hope that I like what I see. As always, actions speak louder than words.
« Breastfeeding Advocate Asks Babble to Remove Her "Momination" | Main | Ages and Stages Survey Results »

Reader Comments (38)

Yeay for them finally cutting through the corporate "BS" and admitting they messed up. Now I *might* not boycott them after all...

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIngrid

Woot! Way to go everyone, and thank you Evenflo for listening and promising to do better.

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia

Does anyone know where I can watch this video. It is taken down now

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Actions DO speak louder than words, but good for them for admitting their screw-up.

I hope they follow through. And thank you for your work to hold them to account!

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary @ Parenthood

I just knew that post was going to fly!!! Well done!!!

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterse7en

Wow. I'll be very interested to see how this plays out in the future, and whether they live up to their word. Thanks for helping to hold their feet to the fire on this!

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWhozat

Thanks, Annie, Bettina, and Danielle!

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarina

That is fantastic to hear that someone is listening. Keeps me hope.

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

That is a fantastic update... now to wait and see if they stick to their word.

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNadia

I hope they follow their word! It will be great if they really do keep in touch with Best for Babes on this.

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarfMom

Jen:

It isn't available online anymore. It was taken down. That is (part of) what we wanted to see happen.

Here is a quick description:
- Mom is breastfeeding on the couch at her own house. Mother-in-law walks into the room and says "breastfeeding again." and "doesn't anyone else get to feed the baby."
- Then father in law walks in, sees her breastfeeding, and starts looking at the ceiling and talking about how he needs to fix something up there.
- The dad walks in and says that his wife and the baby need some privacy and everyone should get out.
- The mother-in-law comments (to her son) about how small the mom's breasts are and says "can she get enough milk out of those". The dad says "yes, their fine"
- Later, they are in the kitchen. The mom is cleaning the kitchen counter. The mother-in-law is holding the baby and going on about how important it is for other people to feed the baby so that they can bond with the baby.
- The dad is ignoring the conversation and staring at his iphone. The father-in-law is complaining about there being no half and half in the fridge for his coffee.
- The mom finally has enough of her mother-in-law, tells the dad to "grab my purse" and they head off to the bedroom together.
- The mom pulls an Evenflo hand pump out of her purse and says something along the lines of "we'll show them". The dad says "I thought you hated pumping" (or something similar). She says "not with this baby!" (pointing at the Evenflo pump)
- The mom pumps a large bottle of breastmilk (looked like about 10oz) in no time at all and returns to the kitchen holding it up and saying "who wants to feed the baby?"
- The father-in-law, who wasn't really paying attention to what she said, grabs the bottle and says "finally some half and half" and dumps some into his coffee while everyone else looks horrified and disgusted
- The father-in-law takes a sip, screws up his face, and says
- They show that part over again in slow motion to emphasize everyone's horrified faces.
- The father in law takes another sip and says" "that's not half and half, that's 2%"

And that's the end...

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

hooray!!!!

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeannie

Still boycotting fully - until I actually see the changes promised. That just might take a while...

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShayla

Great work as always!

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim @Dirty Diaper Laundry

Wow, what a way to reinforce stereotypes about breastfeeding!!

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie Patel

I am rather thankful I did NOT see that video...wow, shame on them! That is absolutely horrible. I hope I never hear of anything like this out of them again and glad to hear they finally sucked up their pride, apologized, and made the promise it wouldn't happen again. It is just sad how many are so uneducated about bf these days do to things just like this video and not enough support out there. Disgusting.

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey Sullivan

You are a strong voice for so many of us. Keep up the great work! xxx

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda King

Nice :)

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Corporations do listen sometimes...years ago there was a show "Nightingales" which was an offensive portrayal of nurses of which I am one...I among others had nurses and student nurses sign petitions that were sent to the sponsors...the sponsors pulled the plug on the show soon after. This was of course prior to Twitter, FB etc. Good work in this effort and thank you Annie.

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLorette Lavine

Thanks for the update.. Good job everyone!

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Shows the power of the online mom/mothers community (You + all the commenters). Bloggers & tweeters and Facebookers do have genuine power to make change at a corporate level. This is BIG!

I do think a company that listens should be acknowledged as well. So kudos to them.

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHarriet

I'm happy that they admitted screwing up. I am. But. I don't think they were candid enough about it. Sorry but ... "completely missed the mark with our video" and "creating bad feelings" are still rather weasly. It leaves room for the interpretation that the problem was with public perception, not the actual self-serving nature of actions. I do not believe that it was an honest mistake ("never our intent.") Furthermore, they haven't (from what I've seen written here) in so many words acknowledged violating the WHO code.

But frankly, no company is every going to admit to actual poor ethics within a decade (unless maybe they can find some maverick scapegoat.) When poor ethics are successfully called out, they will always try to spin it as an honest mistake. I do not believe them. I don't. Though, I will admit that at least this is an apology that is several steps better than the nonpologies to which I've become accustomed.

September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren L

Awesome!

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Yes. Precisely. Thank you for posting this.

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

Well done! From the grass roots to the corporate ears our voices were heard!

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanna

Nice advocacy! Thank you!

awesome update! Glad they have seen their error and are changing their game plan. Thanks for updating us! Way to go bfb!!!!!!!

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMummies nummies

They still have their other "Savvy Parenting" videos up on their page. One calls parents "stupid" if they teach their child a second language, including teaching them sign language. Another video illustrates the parents leaving their baby alone in an exersaucer so they can go in the other room to have sex. Their previous video showed the dad installing a convertible car seat in the forward facing position for his baby who was clearly not 12 months-old. I think Evenflo is on a suicide mission. They're offending parents and illustrating how not to use their products. I'm boycotting.

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTasha

Well it sounds like the conversation with Bettina and Danielle from Best for Babes (who are both awesome) is a start, but judging from their other "Savvy Parenting" videos that others are mentioning, it seems they have a long way to go to recognizing the massive mistakes in marketing they are making toward the same people who they are trying to reach.

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrenna @ Almost All The Truth

You know, a REALLY great way for them to advertise would be to have a commercial/video that somehow in a humrous or entertaining way explain how important it is to pump until 10 mins after the last drop comes out, and other numerous ways to avoid supply decrease when pumping.

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

Grateful for the attempts of Bettina and Danielle but I am not holding my breath on this one. They didn't blink at the resignation of Nancy Mohrbacher. Without her and IBCLCs like her, Evenflo and Ameda won't have decent information to share.

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJake Aryeh Marcus

I did not see the video either, but from the description given, I find it disturbing that Evenflo equated a breast pump with a baby when the the dad says “I thought you hated pumping” (or something similar), and the mother says “not with this baby!” (pointing at the Evenflo pump).
Feeding expressed human milk in a bottle is not the same as breastfeeding. They are not equal. There are certainly situations when feeding expressed breast milk is important and necessary, but parents need to be informed when making infant feeding decisions.

September 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLesley T

Wow, I am horrified to read the description of that video. Thank you for standing up for breastfeeding mothers!

September 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

[...] women.   For those who didn’t see the ad before Evenflo took it down, PhD in Parenting posted a blow-by-blow of what happened in the [...]

September 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe New Evenflo Ad Campaign |

Well done. That video was frightful.

Interestingly, I missed the part about the small breasts (wow, way to promote breastfeeding myths and big breasts = female Evenflo); I was more concerned with (and kept returning to in my mind) the slow-motion horrified & disgusted faces at the end, all around, promped by the fact that the father-in-law tasted breastmilk.

No problem giving milk to your baby, but it becomes suddenly caustic when given to an adult? Had any of the individuals creating the video ever actually tasted breastmilk? It's darned good. And what kind of promo/marketing is that, anyhow? You're trying to sell a breast pump. You know, for BREASTMILK. By vilifying the contents, aren't you by association vilifying the delivery system - the PRODUCT YOU'RE TRYING TO SELL? Strange, at the least.

I'm sure this process has taken a lot of your time & emotional capitol to see through; you should feel proud of your efforts, Annie. ((hugs))

September 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkelly @kellynaturally

What were they thinking? There are seriously no words...

September 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

Thanks for the update! Still quite horrified though, and glad that the little pumping I did had nothing to do with Evenflo.

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commentereva

I was totally out of the loop through the end of last year, and I'm just seeing this now. And I have to say - I'm kind of curious about the video. I'm glad they took it down, but I also sort of want to see it!

January 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

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