Bittylab: Is your newborn too dependent??

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There was a major Twitter storm this morning around a US baby bottle manufacturer called BAREâ„¢ and their charmingly named Twitter account @bittylab

The BAREâ„¢ bottles are marketed as a bottle which closely mimics the breast, reducing nipple confusion and supporting breastfeeding. You’re interested, right? Bottles and expressing are by no means a necessity for most breastfeeding mums, but if you do want to use them, you want the one closest to a breast, as do most formula feeding mums… great idea! (NB. PLEASE DON’T STOP READING HERE. THIS IS NOT A MARKETING POST!!)

Unfortunately, for some reason they decided to market their products like this:

Feeling like you’re competing with your newborn for mommy’s attention? Meet BAREâ„¢ air-free http://t.co/qOiq2oS #babybottles #baby

Your newborn takes up all of mommy’s time? Meet BAREâ„¢ #air-free baby bottles http://t.co/qOiq2oS #breastfeeding

and… you’ll LOVE this one:

New baby? Reclaim your wife. Meet BARE™ http://t.co/qOiq2oS #air-free #baby

Not so interested now? Hmm….! I’ve redirected the links because no-one with judgement this poor is having any free advertising on my site, no matter how negative…

There are so many things wrong with this, I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading! If it was intended as ironic, which from their half-assed apology it clearly wasn’t, it really missed the mark.

So, for those of you who missed it, here is the Bittylab guide to newborns and parenting…

Newborn child:
Small parasite who competes with their father for luxuries as food and water. Clearly this is the case, as breastfeeding mummies will not be able to cook poor ineffective Daddy his steak supper when he gets home… He may starve!!

Daddy:
An inadequate, insecure figure who has no purpose in his baby’s life past his initial sperm donation. Jealous of all the attention the baby gets from his wife and intent on “reclaiming” her for himself.

Mummy:
Provider of milk and attention who will clearly have more time for “attention” if she expresses, refridgerates and then reheats the milk that came out of her at the correct temperature the first time.

Impressively, they managed to unite mums, dads, breastfeeders and formula feeders as one in complete and utter repulsion and their sexist and unethical marketing tactics. Maybe it was a clever marketing plan after all, eh? World peace next?

I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourite replies from Adrian Bott ‏@Cavalorn

Dear @bittylab: I had no urge to ‘reclaim’ my wife from my child, because a) I am a grown up and b) I did not ‘claim’ her in the first place

WTF do these people think men are, Dothraki horse lords? ‘Reclaim your wife’. FFS.

Being less eloquent, I stuck to a factual and balanced response (natch):

A question for @bittylab… If #breastfeeding #mums aren’t sexy, how do we know that exclusive breastfeeding can be a contraceptive? #fools

Oh and lovely Lauren D. ‏@Daresie shared her confusion:

@milkchic never understood the ‘jealous dad’ concept. He’s free to get milk from the fridge whenever he wants. #bittylabsucks #bfing

As usual, Wolf Mommy ‏@Wolf_Mommy summed up the key issues:

there’s no question bottles are useful. There’s no need to violate WHO guidelines or insult women to sell them

You’d think they couldn’t make anything worse, but then there came the apology that wasn’t, where we were told that we had misunderstood, floating the possibility that their Twitter account had been hacked if the offending tweets were still there… really? “Sorry” wouldn’t have worked then?

Shame, but I don’t think they’re coming back from this one. Complete and utter marketing fail.

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