Dads who change diapers pooh-pooh ads
After a barrage of complaints from fathers, the diaper maker Huggies has promised to revamp its new advertising campaign.
The controversy was triggered when Huggies rolled out its "Dad Test" commercials. The ads traded on a throwback stereotype, suggesting that Huggies diapers are of such quality that they could withstand the neglect of a father.
Daddy bloggers blasted the company, and one father, Chris Routly of Pennsylvania, launched a Change.org petition titled "We're Dads, Huggies. Not Dummies." It quickly drew more than 1,000 signatures.
"We heard their comments and have made changes," said Joey Mooring, a spokesman for Huggies parent company Kimberly-Clark.
Mooring said his team has been watching the reaction closely. After the backlash, he went to the Dad Summit 2.0, a conference in Austin, Texas, to talk with the audience that Huggies enraged. "The intention was not to pick fun at dads, but only feature real dads, with their own babies in real-life situations putting our Huggies diapers and baby wipes to the test," Mooring said. "We have learned that our intended message did not come through, and we have made changes."
Huggies has released a new ad that shows a group of confident fathers carrying their babies. It also replaced an ad of dads watching a game with their babies with an image of fathers napping with their kids.
On the company's Facebook page, an image of an exasperated father wearing a suit has been replaced with one of a virile-looking man wearing jeans and a T-shirt, one arm expertly cradling a happy baby.
"We respect the job that all parents do in helping to raise and care for their children. We also recognize that Dad is playing a larger role in the family and deserves to be celebrated," Mooring said.
The changes were welcomed by Routly. "I am incredibly happy to report to you that the people at Huggies/Kimberly-Clark have heard your voices, and are responding in real, impactful ways," he wrote on his blog, Daddy Doctrines.