Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mammufactured outrage?

This billboard, from the Ohio Department of Health, has apparently caused controversy for its portrayal of a face full of breastmilk.

Fox Toledo quotes one viewer:

"When I first saw it I thought, you know, I agree with breast milk, it's fine but then I saw it with the milk around its mouth and I though that was so unappealing. The baby's cute, but I did not like the milk coming out of his mouth."

The funny thing, though, is that in three regional articles about this campaign, the only negative comments reported were similar to the one above — squeamish reactions to the drool.

Of course, supporters all bring up comparisons to the long-standing "Got Milk?" campaign:

And the comments sections on Fox Toledo and The Cleveland Leader seem overwhelmingly supportive.

What gives? Is the media manufacturing controversy where there is none?

More interesting is the video segment, which shows another execution with a white baby and no visible milk. No reason is given. Was this really just a photographic contrast thing?

Ohio has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the United States, with 58.5% of new mothers even attempting it, and just 12% still nursing their babies after a year. The Help Me Grow program assists thousands of families in Ohio, many of whom on limited incomes. For these target markets, the ads are a reminder that breastfeeding is healthy and free.

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