Skincare brand Dove is being rinsed over an advertising campaign that highlights public criticism of breastfeeding.
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has received more than 150 complaints over the advertisements, one of which reads, “75 per cent say breastfeeding in public is fine, 25 per cent say put them away. What’s your way?”.
The message is carried through on Dove UK’s website, which reads, “So whether you’re among the 66 per cent who think that breastfeeding in public is fine, or the 34 per cent who think otherwise, whatever choice you make, we are with you every step of the way.”
The brand claims the campaign celebrates different parenting styles, but plenty of Brits aren’t seeing it that way.
High-profile blogger Sarah Turner of Unmumsy Mum posted an open letter to Dove on social media in which she called the message “dangerous”.
“What you have actually said is that alongside supporting those who think breastfeeding in public is ‘fine,’ you also support those who do NOT think it is fine. I.e. you SUPPORT people who OPPOSE breastfeeding in public, and are with them ‘every step of the way’,” she wrote.
“By all means support a range of parenting CHOICES but please do not offer your support to a dangerous attitude that could put new mums off breastfeeding in public.”
British not-for-profit Baby Milk Action echoed the sentiment on Facebook, and urged mothers not to be “intimidated by the Dove marketing campaign condoning those who object to breastfeeding in public.”
After Larissa Waters’ magnificent multitasking moment, we asked you to share your best breastfeeding stories. Post continues below.
In a statement issued to various UK media outlets, Dove’s parent company Unilever said, “Our campaign simply aims to celebrate the different approaches and opinions around parenting, including whether or not mums choose to breastfeed in public, recognising that it’s ultimately what works for you and your baby that matters the most,” the BBC reports.
England has among the lowest rates of breast feeding in the developed world. According to data published last year in journal The Lancet, just 0.5% of mothers still breast feed their child after 12 months.
Meanwhile, according to government figures from 2011-2012, 13.4 per cent of Australian infants are breastfed between the ages of 12 and 24 months.