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Uncle Sam's Breast Obsession.

Posted by: David Kiley on July 28, 2008


Thanks to for pointing this out. This “Babies were born to be breastfed,” ad is part of an expanded Ad Council campaign that’s been around since 2004. The U.S. Government is out to promote breastfeeding over baby formula. Why it has done so is another question.

These white-on-black billboards, blatantly riffing, notes Adfreak blogger David Griner, on the “God Speaks” campaign, “just come off as preachy—and scientifically debatable.” Let me add another consideration. Many women have a great deal of difficulty post delivery breastfeeding. When a woman who wants to breastfeed can’t, the decison becomes painful—keep trying or risk not feeding the baby enough. It’s a highly emotional process. And many women feel guilty when they need to go to formula for the good of the baby.

Everybody gets why breast feeding is preferable. But these kinds of ads from the Ad Council, backed by the government like a Fannie Mae guarantee, seems out of place to me.

Reader Comments

Dave Taylor

July 29, 2008 12:22 PM

We were doing well until I got to the comment that babies being born to breastfeed was "scientifically debatable"? what kind of nitwits are you using as sources for your quotes now, Mr. Kiley? That's balderdash.

You also aren't taking into account the tens of millions companies like Nestle are pouring into their campaigns to sell women on the benefits of formula and the ever lowering percentage of women who are breastfeeding in the USA, a very important aspect of this situation.

From Kiley: You have a point. I could have phrased it better since we all know that animals are literally born to breastfeed. But that doesn't deal with the reality that some women have great difficulty breast-feeding.


July 30, 2008 1:20 PM

The Ad Council is already in the business of hectoring us about how to live every single facet of our lives; why not breastfeeding too?

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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