J&J yanks mom-offending Motrin ad

A Johnson & Johnson online ad has captured headlines all over the place. Too bad it's the wrong kind of headline. The online commercial looked to promote the Motrin painkiller to new moms. But its flip approach got them all riled up instead.

The ads promise Motrin can treat backs, necks, and shoulders that ache from Mom's toting baby in one of those slings or packs that keep infants close and their mothers' hands free. Baby-wearing women were not amused. Offended moms spewed complaints via Twitter, YouTube, and various motherhood blogs. Some even called for a boycott of the medicine, which is one of the standard treatments for childhood fevers.

By the end of the day yesterday, J&J had posted an apology on the Motrin.com website and pulled the online commercial. Magazine ads are also set for the axe, though they'll take longer to get out of circulation. The ad was "meant to engender sympathy and appreciation for all that parents do for their kids, a VP of marketing wrote on JNJ BTW, the company's blog, "but did so through an attempt at humor that missed the mark."

As the Wall Street Journal noted, both the outcry and the swift response shows how quickly Internet-savvy consumers can influence corporate behavior.

- here's the video
- read the story at Scientific American
- check out the WSJ's article