Motrin's Baby Slings

Mortrin's latest marketing plan falls flat, and angers many.


Motrin Marketing Plan Majorly “BACK” fires!

Talk about biting the hand that FEEDS YOU!

-Stephanie Elliot

Well, this may be the world’s SHORTEST ad campaign EVER! Apparently, Motrin was trying to reach the most influential buyers IN THE WORLD, but they dropped the ball on this one.

This WAS Motrin’s plan to get more moms to buy their pain relievers:

This ad does NOT make moms happy. I see so many things wrong with it, and I wasn’t even a Baby Wearer!

First of all, the ad says “these things put a ton of strain on your back.”

Is Motrin calling our children THINGS? Because it’s not the sling or the carrier that’s heavy and adding strain to your back, it’s the weight of the child — you know, THAT THING ON YOUR BACK!

And the fact that wearing your baby “totally makes me look like an official mom” offends me too. If you don’t wear your baby, are you not an official mom? Back when my youngest, who is now 7, was born, slings were just getting mainstream. I would have LOVED to toss him into a cozy little sack against my chest to cart him along with my other two kids. I’d say I was looking quite OFFICIAL with three kids under the age of 4!

Here’s the other thing that confuses me: Is Motrin telling us to buy their product to relieve our children’s afflictions? Or are they telling us to buy Motrin for our back pain? They are sending a really jumbled message I am not quite able to interpret.

The ad says, “I’ll put up with the pain because it’s a good kind of pain.”

OK, Motrin is a PAIN RELIEVER COMPANY. They have adult products. Yet they WANT US TO BE IN PAIN? And have you ever experienced GOOD PAIN?

If the Motrin company had baby wearers working for them a clue, and had the foresight to ask a couple of MOMS what they thought of the ad, maybe they would have put a different spin on their campaign. They could have said they know we moms already use Motrin for when our babies are teething or get fevers, and that if we get back or neck pain, it’s a great choice for us too! And they could have said that when a baby is carried close to the bod, she cries less, and a baby who cries less, makes a mom happier! Such a simple, simple way to put a positive spin on a PR disaster!

Other moms are pretty amped up on the subject and have let their feelings been made known to the folks at Motrin and all over the Internet, and here’s just a sampling of what’s being said:

The good news is that Motrin representatives have acknowledged they’ve made a big boo-boo and are making the best of a huge PR mess. Here’s what’s currently on their Web site’s home page:

“With regard to the recent Motrin advertisement, we have heard you.

On behalf of McNeil Consumer Healthcare and all of us who work on the Motrin Brand, please accept our sincere apology.

We have heard your concerns about the ad that was featured on our website. We are parents ourselves and we take feedback from moms very seriously.

We are in the process of removing this ad from all media. It will, unfortunately, take a bit of time to remove it from our magazine advertising, as it is on newsstands and in distribution.

Thank you for your feedback. It’s very important to us.”

I think the ad caused more pain to the company than to any of the mothers Motrin was trying to reach, don’t you? I also think Patrick Swayze said it best in Dirty Dancing and I bet most of the mothers who responded so vehemently to this absurd ad will agree:

“Nobody puts Baby in the corner!”

Stephanie Elliot is Betty’s Lit Lounge and Parenting editor, and she also answers your parenting questions at Just Another Manic Mommy. Visit her at or

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