Huggies Pulls Ads Featuring Dads Somehow Managing To Care For Children

Wouldn’t it be completely crazy to put five dads and five babies in a house for five whole days? asked Huggies in a recent ad campaign. No, it wouldn’t, complained dads (and moms) around the country, because believe it or not — dads are quite capable of parenting, much less putting on a diaper. Those “Dad Test” ads are now going away.

ABC News says the feedback from angry dads, including campaigns like “We’re Dads, Huggies. Not Dummies” from a blogger on “The Daddy Doctrines” as well as protests on the blog “The Good Men Project.”

Huggies says they’re sorry they offended dads and made it seem like they didn’t think men are capable of childcare.

The statement from Kimberly-Clark and Huggies brand says, in part:

We have heard the feedback from dads concerning our current “real life” dad commercials. We recognize our intended message did not come through and that we need to do a better job communicating the campaign’s overall message. We have listened and learned.

They say they’ve made changes to the campaign to really put the performance of Huggies diapers and wipes to the test, instead of showing how their products make it possible for men to handle babies. The ads on their Facebook page now show dads tending to sleeping babies.

“We also realize that a fact of life is that dads care for their kids just as much as moms do and in some cases are the only caregivers,” the spokesman added. “The intention of our Huggies TV ad was to illustrate that dads have an opinion on product performance just as much as moms do.”

However, as Aric Melzl, the brand director for Huggies tells the Huffington Post, it’s really not all about dads, in the end.

“All of this,” the initial campaign, the full-on response, is targeted at moms,” he said. “I don’t want there to be any question about who we we’re going after.”

Duly noted. Dads, you still don’t matter as much as moms.

Huggies Pulls Ads After Dads Insulted [ABC News]
Huggies Pulls Ads After Insulting Dads [Huffington Post]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. novajosh says:

    funny, not really an apology to dads here

  2. Dallas_shopper says:

    I’m insulted because every ad I ever see for a cleaning product features a woman using it.

    PLACATE ME, TOO!

    • TheUncleBob says:

      Likewise, why do all the alarm company ads always feature white men breaking into homes?

      • LJKelley says:

        If the man was black, it would be racist. If it was a woman, it would be sexist, though in an odd way its sexist not to have woman (i.e. Everyone knows a woman can’t break in). We are just too sensitive and everyone needs to grow a spine and focus on real cases of discrimination like today’s guilty verdict.

    • scoosdad says:

      I think the parallel between the Huggies situation and your cleaning product example would be if the cleaning product company showed men using it, but using it badly. Not just that it’s only women who use it.

      But I get the humor in your response too. I’m outraged, I tell you, outraged! We deserve to be placated!

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      On the flip side, power tools commercials always have men and are manly.

      One thing I love is at http://www.familyhandyman.com/ which is a great DIY side, a large number of the professional DIY directions specifically feature woman doing the project.

      • Cat says:

        But, Power Tool calenders always feature women holding big tools in a very loving fashion. Large-breasted, scantily clad, young women. Massive, Powerful, Rigid, Manly tools.

        I have to go now…

    • AstroPig7 says:

      So, we should have diapers being changed by invisible people? That would be interesting and creepy.

    • Yeah Right says:

      Right there with ya’ Sistah!

  3. FacebookAppMaker says:

    When it comes to children, men have no rights. If a man looks at someone elses kid? He’s a pedophile.

    Screw this mentality.

    • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

      Sad that the world has come to this. A few bad apples make everyone look bad.

      Personally, I like kids. They seem to sense this, as I generally get mobbed by other kids when I pick up mine at day care. Which is fine, except that it can be difficult getting a 2 year old into his snow gear when a half dozen other two year olds are trying to “help” me.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      Yeah, it really does suck for guys nowadays. Fathers’ rights are a joke, men can’t get custody of their kids unless the mother’s a hardcore trainwreck. Women can have abortions if they don’t want a baby, but if she decides to keep her “oops baby” the man is forced to support it even if he didn’t want it. And I’m only 31 but I still remember a time when a man could be an elementary school teacher without being suspected of pedophilia, or a high school teacher without being ripe for accusations of impropriety with teenage girls.

      There are a lot of bad men out there, but it’s unfair that all men are painted with the same brush.

      • jerry101 says:

        Well, at least we all know you’re one of the bad ones. Get some psychiatric help, man.

      • GrayMatter says:

        Well, at least with high school teachers, the women are just as suspect these days.

        I guess Title 9 works in this area too.

        (And yes, that is snark. And, before anybody yells about Title 9, I strongly support it. It is wonderful to see girls in the gym, doing things that require strength and endurance.)

      • sadie kate says:

        My So-Called Life was one of my favorite shows, and I loved the Rayanne character. It makes me really sad whenever I see you comment, because I feel like I am always virulently opposed to whatever you say, and it’s ruining my childhood.

    • Velvet Jones says:

      Hey, they can even be your own kids. Wasn’t only about two years ago when a father was detained and question extensively for playing with his own son the play area of a mall in the UK? All men a suspects, especially if they’re in a mall or on a plane.

    • Bob from Texas says:

      I actually refuse to play into this. As a dad who has raised a son and now a daughter, I can relate to kids and their parents. Dads, men, if you see a kid that is absolutely adorable, or smart, well-behaved, or otherwise exceptional, then by all means compliment the kid or parent if you feel like it. But do it with confidence. It helps if your kid is with you, but if not, and the mother/father/caregiver looks creeped out, then just say, oh I have a son/daughter, or a little brother/sister, cousin etc, just like him/her. Last I heard, it’s not illegal to have conversations in public. And our kids could certainly use as much positive reinforcement as possible.

      Personally, I was also very hands-off others’ kids, don’t even look at them, lest you arouse suspicion. After having kids, though, I realized that we can all do our part to make this world less callous, less negative, and more friendly.

      Of course, as with any public encounters with strangers, don’t go overboard, and try to read the mother/father to see if she’s open to conversation, or very much mind-your-own-business-like.

    • Jawaka says:

      It really is cheaper in the long run to just buy a rubber and hire a hooker.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Where do all of you live? I realize that ad’s and t.v. have been trying to play this act that “men are dumb” for going on 15 years, but I know of no one that goes through what you guys are saying. For instance, I am in martial arts with all kids 13 and under and I assist my karate instructor. There are no problems with this nor does anyone “suspect” me. Try not to take isolated incidents and read into them as though the entire world thinks this way because most people do not.

      As for this ad? Big deal. It’s only an ad and if marketing wants to “market” an urban legend, so be it. I change diapers my first time when I became an Uncle at the age of 11. These ad’s don’t make me flinch an inch.

      • Doubting thomas says:

        that is in an organized setting where the parent has approached you. Here is another great example. I was a boy scout growing up and it is some of my best memories. In my single 20′s when I had a lot more free time and disposable income I tried to volunteer as a scout leader. they wanted nothing to do with a single childless man. Now that I have a kid in scouts they beg me non-stop to put in more time that I no longer have. I also have been the primary care giver to my child, on 2 separate instances I have been approached by strangers, one law enforcement officer and one busy-body, because my son (who looks just like me) was throwing a tantrum tried to pull away from me and run off in public. These strangers wanted to make sure that my kid was mine and that I was supposed to be with him. That wouldn’t happen to a woman.
        I am not going so far as to call it discrimination, just an overly paranoid reaction to the 24 hour news cycle.

    • Corinthos says:

      Exactly. I helped raise my cousin for 3 years right after high school. When my coworkers or friends (except my closest ones) are begging people to watch their kids on facebook so they can have date night or whatever I’m not going to speak up.
      I’d have no problem watching kids for a few hours that are old enough to go to the bathroom on their own but sure I’d get reactions if I offered.

    • DrRonster says:

      I’ll play with my neighbor’s dogs but not their kids. Don’t even know the kids names. Rather be considered as a lune with the dogs than a pediphile. Had a Shelties from 1969-2010. Cant do it any more. A neighbors 100lb dog was making a lightning dash towards me which scared the owner, but all he wanted was his treat which he got immediately. My neighbor’s toy poodles are barking at 6am for their treats. Im up at 5am. Any man puts themselves in a dangerous situation playing with kids, especially if we dont have any of our own.
      Not to mention what these so called child phscologist’s plant in kids minds.

  4. Cicadymn says:

    All men are predators and they will hurt you or children the first chance they get. Never let an adult man be around children alone.

  5. Bionic Data Drop says:

    I’m a father of a 2 year old girl. I have changed hundreds of diapers and care for her by myself for at least 8 hours a day. I wasn’t offended in the least about this ad. People are just too sensitive.

    • LuzioFantazmic says:

      I’m a father of a 2 year old girl. I have changed hundreds of diapers and care for her by myself for at least 8 hours a day. I was offended in the least about this ad. People are just not very sensitive.

    • lint42 says:

      Cool, lets make an ad saying “We get everyone to graduate from our college, even black people.” No one can get offended or they are too sensitive.

  6. vliam says:

    Man up, Nancy.

    What happened to our sense of humor?

    • FrugalFreak says:

      humor is out of hand

      Contrary to Womens beliefs, men and women are just as equal to do the job and ridicule of the opposite sex doesn’t make you better.

      Women need to get to the “doghouse” too, Women need to sleep on the couch, etc..

      Men bashing has become societal accepted but it is WRONG!

      • VintageLydia says:

        Really? Because every feminist I personally know would disagree with your assertion that they think bashing men is “ok.” Gender stereotypes hurt everyone. It’s the same stereotype that women are better suited to domestic life and less suited for working outside of the home that punishes women with lower wages and punishes men with losing custody battles. It’s all interconnected.
        I do know there are women out there who think unilaterally bashing men is okay, but most do not. Please don’t conflate the mean spirited ones with feminist and women’s rights beliefs as a whole.

        • Jawaka says:

          Steroetypes exist for a reason.

          • VintageLydia says:

            Many stereotypes are a result of ignorance and misinformation. They may LOOSELY apply to a group as a whole but they should never ever be applied to an individual.

        • NewsMuncher says:

          +1
          Well Said. As a woman, I understand ribbs women share about amusing/annoying things the other gender does, but when it moves on to just bashing men, it just gets disgusting. It works the other way around, too. My guy friend has terrible luck with the ladies and gets disheartened, but I remind him that bashing only leads to lower quality dates in the end.

      • vliam says:

        Contrary to Womens beliefs, men and women are just as equal to do the job

        *looks at breast area*

        Yeah, I don’t think so.

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Man Men called, they want their advertising team back.

  8. jrwn says:

    It’s a good thing I don’t buy huggies, I just get the sam’s club brand. Cheaper.

  9. FrugalFreak says:

    Still not an apology, just that thier “message” didn’t come through. The message was “WRONG”.

  10. axiomatic says:

    OMG I’m a Dad and these sensitive Dad’s need to man up. Its a joke/meme/stereotype. Roll with the punches you pansies.

    Don’t you think that us men might even deserve this a little bit for all the sexist misogynistic crap we have made women put up with over the years in advertising?

    • Mit Long says:

      Ghandi sez: An eye for an eye makes the world go blind.

    • D007H says:

      As much as advertisers show misogynistic crap on tv, they also devote a lot of money to reinforcing stereotypical ultra masculine images of what men should be. The point is to make both men and women feel insecure enough to go out and buy things. “Hey there! Are you some sissified pansy who can’t role with the punches and spend your time whining about diapers? Go man up and buy a big ass truck!!! ”
      While I don’t always agree when people complain about certain advertisements, I think it’s at least beneficial that they’re examining these things at another level. Considering how media saturated our modern day society is, the advertising industry have more effects on our psychology and habits than we would like to admit.

    • nocturnaljames says:

      why, every other demographic would bitch and moan about racial/sex stereotypes, it’s about time white men spoke up.

  11. Jacob says:

    I my house, Mom changes more diapers, but Dad buys them (because Dad is a better consumerist who does things like calculates the price per diaper after coupons and Target gift card offers.)

  12. evilpete says:

    How about featuring 5 crack addicted moms and 5 babies?

    Huh not funny?

  13. eezy-peezy says:

    Now if AT&T can get rid of their stupid ads where the parents are clueless about technology and the pre-teens have all the answers. Guess what folks, the parents have the MONEY – I am not going to buy from a company that insults me. This is not the 1980′s anymore, parents of young kids today have grown up with technology all their lives.

    • wasabipeas says:

      Right. Today’s parents are the kids who were supposedly setting the VCR clocks for their clueless parents back in the 80s.

  14. Razor512 says:

    it is not hard to care for a baby, but it is annoying. What huggies needs to do is work on a diaper changing machine that handles that unwanted task.

    changing diapers is the 100% worst part about diapers, and in a world where we already have self driving cars as well as self flying planes, why aren’t there machines to handle job that is rather simple but at the same time one of the worst jobs which is changing diapers?

    • aaron8301 says:

      God forbid you actually have to touch and interact with your baby. Why don’t we just have robots to feed, clothe, bathe, and otherwise raise the kids, too? Then none of us would have to be parents!

  15. Razor512 says:

    I just got a good idea for how huggies can fix the ad, make it into a commercial showing how “dads” take care of babies while completely drunk for St. Patrick’s Day. It will at least be funny which will work much better than trying to make some people feel insulted.

  16. Telekinesis123 says:

    Unfortunately portraying men as bumbling out of touch dimwits has been the norm in advertising for as long as I can remember.

    • GrayMatter says:

      Well, my name also refers to my hair color. I remember “Father knows Best”, “Henry Aldrich” and the like, where the old man was NOT a bumbling idiot.

      Even in the “Life of Riley”, Bill Bendix plaid a loving father who really tried hard to do things right, and his family supported him and forgave him when things went wrong.

      The change seems to have come around about the time Women’s Lib started, and advertisers were afraid to show housewives as meek, helpless things. So they started in on males.

    • katarzyna says:

      And it’s done a disservice for both men and women.

  17. PsiCop says:

    Nearly every advertising campaign that’s ever been launched, has been offensive to dads. The dad in virtually every commercial is a complete moron. They’re all clueless dolts who have no clue about even the most basic things in life. How they manage to get out of bed in the morning and dress themselves, is impossible to imagine — I suppose their wives and kids, who always know oh-so-much-more than “dad” ever will — must have to do these things for them.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      I believe that these commercials to make men look like dolts is because marketer’s try to impress on women that they need to make better buying decisions because they do most of the shopping. Thus in turn they’ll spend money and that marketed product,,or even spend more than normal. It’s about all the green and a company’s bottom-line, nothing else.

    • human_shield says:

      Making men look like dolts is humorous to women, they enjoy the commercial, and thus buy the product.

      Men will most likely just buy whatever is cheaper.

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        I don’t find it appealing; I pity any woman who would marry such a useless idiot, though.

  18. Jawaka says:

    I guess there was a lack of other things to get offended about.

    I’m a guy and this never bothered me but I suppose it may be because I have at least a little bit of a sense of humor.

  19. iblamehistory says:

    It’s like they think I need yet another reason to use cloth diapers.

    /few hundred dollar investment to diaper all kids through potty training
    //less rashes and fewer nasty chemicals, too

  20. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    We saw one of the ads where dads were watching football and they didn’t change the kids’ diapers through the whole game. I guess the idea was that stupid lazy old dads could depend on the diapers to get them through the game without a change. I found it pretty offensive towards dads. It made them look like incompetent selfish idiots who care more about football than their kid sitting in a pile of crap for 2 hours.

  21. PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

    Eh. Never offended me – I take all advertising as pandering. The “apology” however, was just digging a deeper hole.

    On a similar note: anyone see the commercial where the guy hires the three teenaged girls to follow him around and comment on his meal choices? That commercial creeps me out. Maybe it’s the unfortunate implications (damn TVTropes)…

    • Jane_Gage says:

      Teenage girls can be used as advertising vehicles on a number of fronts–birth control, sound proof windows, alcohol, on-line shopping, Nerf targets, teacher appreciation day.

  22. alamochica says:

    I saw this commercial earlier in the week and didn’t think for a second “Oh, the dads can’t care for their kids”. Instead I thought “Gee, the dads are awesome for taking care of the kids so the moms can get some rest” (but to be fair, this observation is coming from a child-less woman).

  23. ehchan says:

    Baby advertising has to be one of the last bastions of sexist advertising. I mean, seriously, the Amazon discount club is called, “Amazon Mom” for crying out loud! Never mind that this daddy does all the purchasing for the baby.

  24. chrisAPu says:

    As a man and the primary caregiver of a 2 year old, I can wholeheartedly say that I could give 2 shits about Huggies advertising. The fact of the matter is that Pampers has a superior product when it comes to diapers and wipes…. So…like… SUCK IT… Huggies.

  25. evilpete says:

    If fathers were so inept at child care, leaving 5 babies with 5 dads would be child endangerment

  26. markincleveland says:

    I think someone needs to get a life

  27. Press1forDialTone says:

    Men must take back their dignity and demand it from women just as they
    demand it from us. Empower both men and women. Pay women and men
    the same for the same work and quality of work. No special rights, just
    equal rights and that includes LGBT folks and minorities of all kinds.
    Let’s MOVE ON!

  28. cameronl says:

    I’m surprised that this particular ad got dads’ ire up. It seems to me that dads and husbands are constantly portrayed as incompetent in ads.

  29. sibelius says:

    Maybe we should spend less time looking for offense and more time working on how not to become so easily offended all the time.

  30. Burzmali says:

    As a dad, these ads didn’t even kind of offend me. Although, my wife did draw a parallel between the ads and my parenting ability when I failed to change our 1 year old’s wet diaper for over 6 hours. Maybe I wasn’t offended because I’m the kind of dad that they were referring to in the ads.

  31. CentralScrutinizer says:

    If it’s inappropriate to speak of women, Blacks, Hispanics, or Jews a particular way in front of the EEOC director at your workplace, it’s just as wrong to speak of men the same way.