If that seems overly paranoid, note that the free candy was part of a promotion for a baby toy company. The campaign overall is quite adorable, because it’s focused on making babies laugh, and it may be humanly impossible not to at least smile when you hear a baby laugh.
The BlogHer conference is a veritable sea of brands clamoring for the attention of mothers who blog. While it should be clear that the candy containers filled with red Hots are not to be handed over to children who aren’t old enough to know the difference between pills and candy, that still doesn’t make such a promotion such a good idea for a company that makes toys for babies.
Blogger Morgan Shanahan pointed this out to the world, first taking a picture of the offending bottle and posting it to Instagram, then posting detailed photos comparing the candy container to a real pill bottle.
When AdWeek contacted the company about this ill-advised promo, they explained that they stopped it after being called out on what a terrible idea it was. A spokesperson told AW:
Our “prescription for laughter” in a pill bottle was part of a booth experience designed to support Bright Starts’ “Fun Comes First” campaign, which also featured a “Baby Laugh Index” quiz and a “dress as a baby” photo booth—all very tongue-in-cheek reminders of the importance of baby laughter.
Once we realized that the giveaways were concerning to some, we immediately stopped passing them out. We certainly understand and regret any misunderstanding this has caused, and welcome the opportunity to visit further should that be helpful.