Dove’s PR nightmare

Transcript of advertising team campaign meeting *

Ad executive: Right guys we need an ad campaign that’s going to speak to our key demographic and get people talking. Something topical.

Ad flunky 1: How about kittens, women love kittens don’t they?

Ad exec: No we need something more intellectual, something really current to show we understand the mums in our core audience.

Ad flunky 2: What about breastfeeding, people are always banging on about how important that is.

Ad exec: Great idea. But we need to really show some brains here, throw some numbers in.

Ad flunky 3: How about we quote some random breastfeeding stats?

Ad exec: Spot on.

Ad flunky 4: Um, this is actually a really big issue and it’s important we handle it sensitively because a lot of women say they still feel self-conscious about breastfeeding in public. There’s also the legal aspect.

Ad exec: That’s alright. We’ll quote the stats and say we support everyone no matter what, that makes us pro-choice.

Ad flunky 3: *Googles breastfeeding statistics*. Here’s something, apparently 66 per cent of people are in favour of breastfeeding in public and 34 per cent of people aren’t.

Ad exec: Fantastic. So we’ll just say we support both groups, that way we look really inclusive.

Ad flunky 4: Actually by supporting the second one we’re saying we don’t support breastfeeding in public. That’s not being pro-choice it’s being pro-judgemental. Also we’re saying we support a view that goes against the law. Breastfeeding women can’t be discriminated against by being asked to leave public places.

Ad exec: This sounds like it’s really going to get people talking. I’m thinking a big picture of soapy tits with the words ‘no babies allowed’.

Ad flunky 4: *face palm.


* Obviously this is my take on what could have gone on when Dove decided on this dreadful advertising campaign. I really don’t understand how a such large company with a marketing budget in the millions could have such poor judgement.

I have been further riled by their refusal to accept what they have done is wrong. Here is their statement from yesterday:

“We believe there are many ways to be a great mum or dad.
“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.”

I really hope Dove gets a clue and starts listening to women.

Otherwise they risk looking even more of a tit than they already do.


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  • Holy shit!!! I just googled this PR campaign since it’s not here in America….could they have tried any harder to create a disaster for themselves?! What an offensive ad about breastfeeding, not to mention it has absolutely no bearing on a line of SOAP! #BloggerClubUK

  • I thought the campaign was grossly misjudged, and like you I’m shocked that a company with their resources didn’t see this coming. Having said that, everyone is talking about it, and by extension their brand, so maybe that was their intention!
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

  • Love your blog, I think sadly Dove have achieved their marketing objective! What relevance it has to shower gel or deodorant though I don’t know! lol #BloggerClubUK

  • It was a questionable ad choice for sure. Social media has lit up over it – yes it’s angered some moms out there but Dove has achieved so much more from that campaign than if they didn’t have a controversial line in it! I love the facepalm in your description lol Thank you for sharing with us at #BloggerClubUK xx