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November 20, 2008


This past weekend, Motrin – a well trusted household brand came under the attack of one of the most talked about groups in the world of advertising and marketing today; the mom bloggers.

The odd thing about this story was that the catalyst was not a danger to children but instead the tone of an online ad. In trying to reach out and relate to young moms, it alienated them. It was initially viewed as condescending and insulting. The discussion surrounded baby wearing, the use of a carrier to hold your child. The concept is to keep the baby close to you while allowing you to use your hands. Simple, right? If only! The language was viewed as disrespectful and online hell broke loose.

A single 'voice' heard around the world prompted thousands of moms to unite and have their voices heard. Amazing? Sure, but what followed was not so pretty .

Through the use of an online tool, Twitter, word spread with unprecedented speed. For those who are 'Tweeters', go get a cup of coffee while I give a quick primer here. Twitter is like instant messaging with the world where you ‘follow’ someone the same way you would ‘friend’ them on Facebook. You can also search topics and follow what others are saying about things that interest you. The most 'tweeted' about things rise to the top of the topic trend. (For more information about Twitter click here)

Less than 24 hours after the Twitterfest began we experienced a serious aftershock. The anti-social media, if you will. This is not uncommon in a large scale open forum. When a trusted brand is threatened many will come to its defense and start a counter attack. Others just love to mix it up in a good fight. Call it human nature.

Mommy wars fired up with a vengeance. Moms were judged for being too sensitive, for spending more time 'building their personal brands' than raising their kids and one analyst went so far as to call mom bloggers 'the stroller mafia'. Seriously, enough! We are talking about mothers here, not terrorists!

By now anyone who follows Twitter might very well be on to the next trending topic. 'motrinmoms' has gone the way of Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin. (although I must admit, the Sarah Palin condom still gets a good laugh). By the time I finish this post a new topic could very well peak and fizzle out. But, the fallout from this event has taken some fascinating twists. Is there more focus on being in the know than on reflection? Will those involved take time to digest this or will they simply jump to the next hot trend?

Being one who has always liked to chew things carefully, I will choose to digest.

It would be a shame if the fallout from this situation causes long-term damage to the brand/mom blogger relationship. Will brands be wary of activating a backlash – of being 'Motrined' – or will the trend to embrace these powerful consumers continue?

We here at SV mom blogs are a unique group. We are 300 strong, geographically and demographically diverse. Our one unifying thread is that we blog. Not only here, but on our personal blogs and other communities and networks as well. And we are moms. So that makes us... well, you get the point.

But we are not a movement. We are simply a voice. Or many voices. We have buying power that can help a brand, but that is not why we came into existence, it is simply a fortunate by-product for all involved; greater brand loyalty and trusted consumer voices.

We create forums for collaboration, support and sharing online as we have done for centuries within in our own communities. We question, inform, comfort, and, yes, bitch sometimes. Sound familiar?

That is because we are first and foremost, simply put; mothers.


Original 50-something Moms Blog post. Posted by Amy Zimmerman. Amy also blogs at i could cry but i dont have time and leaving the zip code.


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