18 November 2008

The OTC Painkiller Who Must Not Be Named

I asked my wife if she heard about this Monday night and she told me it was "old news" by then.

I'm secure enough in my masculinity to say I've worn a baby in a sling. In public. Several times. And after a while my back gets sore too. But it's clear the ad was a mistake.

However, give McNeil credit for responding to the fairly robust criticism rather quickly and doing the right thing.

Of course all the social media folks are writing their "behold the power of Twitter" and "behold the power of mommybloggers" posts. The truth is in this situation Twitter probably saved McNeil here, not harmed it. It served as the canary in the coal mine, giving the company a strong warning that something was wrong. And McNeil was smart enough to be watching for it and courageous enough to apologize and change direction quickly. Now they need to take the next step - building strong relationships with many of the discussion drivers and opinion leading parents who talk with each other online.

45 comments:

Her Bad Mother said...

"The truth is in this situation Twitter probably saved McNeil here, not harmed it. It served as the canary in the coal mine, giving the company a strong warning that something was wrong."

Totally right. Twitter allowed for a fast alarm, whereas street buzz about the ads would have just scorched at low burn. McNeil *was* lucky. they should thank us.

Jessica Gottlieb said...

http://hollywood2020.blogs.com/hollywood2020/2008/11/motringate-twit.html

Actually Joyce was the canary, calling an ad exec at home on Sunday, which was very nice of her.

A canary would have been a google alert that went to someone's blackberry.

I assure you that had someone responded with a few words to me along the lines of, "we were trying to be funny....oops." I wouldn't have cared much.

Please note that this all occurred during the first ever International Babywearing Week, a grassroots effort to get mothers and babies the best start. This makes it in remarkably poor taste.

Unless, of course, it was well executed and funny. Which I think we all know...

Mom101 said...

I think that's actually a great point about the canary. I hadn't looked at it that way. In fact, I've been having a debate with some "marketing guy" who keeps telling me that Motrin shouldn't have pulled the ad because he polled some moms and they hadn't heard of it so that means that it wasn't a big deal. Um...okay. Glad he's not in charge of my brand.

To Jessica's point, it was probably twitter that alerted Joyce. Years ago, it would have been grassroots organization that went right to the MSM so you're right David. Twitter was a great heads up.

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