Over the past few days, bottle maker Bitty Lab sent out the following Tweet at least 12 times, according to an original story posted on Care2.com:
"New baby? Reclaim your wife. Meet BARE #air-free #babybottles Bittylab.com #bfing"
That tweet was followed with this one:
"Feeling like you're competing with your newborn for mommy's attention? Meet BARE #air-free #babybottles Bittylab.com #breastfeeding"
Where to even begin?
Annie Slaughter, the writer of the original Care2.com story, wrote:
"This offensive marketing tactic presumes that a woman, or at least her breasts, belong to a man. It also attempts to create a false competition between the baby and the father, when the father should be supporting the mother in providing the best care and nutrition for her baby."
Mom bloggers and Facebook commenters--women and men alike--were uniformly outraged and insulted. Some highlights are cataloged here.
We here at Shine had a moment's uncertainty, since we love the idea of a baby bottle campaign targeted at dads. And, we thought, maybe in some universe where people don't take themselves so seriously (i.e. a universe far, far away from the one where the topic of breastfeeding lives), it might be funny to suggest that a husband might want to help his wife have some extra time... for him. Or, wait, not. Or, funny that, you know, he wants to get busy with her breasts himself? Ugh, really not!
Any benefit of the doubt that the situation might elicit went up in smoke upon viewing the confused, missing-the-point and grammatically incorrect apology addressed to the "ladies" and posted by BittyLab on Facebook:
"Ladies, We're really sorry about the twitter campaign run last week. It was a huge miss understood [sic] and resulted in offensive messages. It was taken down yesterday. The messages had nothing to do with putting a husband needs before the baby's needs, it was more about having a little extra time for the rest of the family. Obviously the whole campaign was poorly executed. We apologize deeply for this miss understanding and assure you, from now on the campaigns will be closely monitored before they go out. Thank you for a second chance."
Second chances seem unlikely to be forthcoming.