Johnson & Johnson’s legendary marketing machine just had a rare mess up.
A new ad for Motrin, sold by J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit, tried to appeal to moms with an attempt at a chatty copy about using Motrin to treat sore muscles that result from a baby carrier. But some members of the target audience were offended, and a flood of scathing items appeared on Twitter. The Motrin.com website went down Sunday night and as of Monday morning still hasn’t come back up.
A Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman sent us this statement from Kathy Widmer, VP, Marketing at the McNeil unit:
“I am the Vice President of Marketing for McNeil Consumer Healthcare. I have responsibility for the Motrin Brand, and am responding to concerns about recent advertising on our website. I am, myself, a mom of 3 daughters. We certainly did not mean to offend moms through our advertising. Instead, we had intended to demonstrate genuine sympathy and appreciation for all that parents do for their babies. We believe deeply that moms know best and we sincerely apologize for disappointing you. Please know that we take your feedback seriously and will take swift action with regard to this ad. We are in process of removing it from our website. It will take longer, unfortunately, for it to be removed from magazine print as it is currently on newstands and in distribution.”
So the outrage on Twitter has apparently managed to finish off this ad — except that it lives on over at YouTube.