Uproar Over Oreo Ad With Breastfeeding Baby

A new Korean ad for Oreos, “milk’s favorite cookie,” created by Cheil Worldwide, Kraft’s ad agency, has sparked its share of discussion. The ad (you can see it here) shows a baby “caught in the act” of nursing at his mother’s breast, holding onto an Oreo cookie. The ad, says Mary Elizabeth Williams in Salon, appears to be “heavily Photoshopped”: The baby’s Oreo-clutching hand is awkwardly positioned (suggesting that the hand and arm in the ad are not actually attached to the rest of the baby) and his or her skin, and that of his or her mother, are quite blemish-free.

Kraft has insisted that the ad was made for “a one-time use at an advertising forum and was not intended for public distribution or use with consumers.” Fox Nation has said the ad is a “shocker” while ABC News has called it “controversial” due to its showing an “exposed nipple.”

At a time when Janet Jackson’s 2004 Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” has led the FCC to fine CBS $550,000 for “fleeting nudity” — a fine which the Obama Administration has asked the Supreme Court to review — it’s not surprising that the nursing baby Oreo addhas attracted such attention, whether or not it has actually been used or not.

But why should the image of a baby breastfeeding be  considered so controversial? Williams cites MSNBC writer Kavita Varma-White, who criticized the ad as “kind of… icky… about the way this ad blatantly sexualizes breast-feeding” and declared the ad to be of the “women-being-objectified” sort.

Williams argues that the image is not “automatically sexualized” at all, but is “a memorable photo, it’s the knowing look in the baby’s eyes, combined with intimate closeness of the scene, that makes it compelling.” Saying that the nursing baby ad is “sexualized” show how, for some segments of our society, the image of a naked breast (horrors!) means one and one thing only (sex). This is thinking that contributes to banning, or attempts to ban, breastfeeding in public.

Frankly, I raised an eyebrow at the ad because it shows a baby holding onto the Oreo as if to say, please do start kids eating sugary products as soon as possible. That is a troubling message and even more so when there have been reports of younger and younger children needing extensive dental work for a dozen-plus cavities, not to mention the rising number of children who are overweight. The nutritional advantages of feeding a child breast milk are well-documented — but Oreos aren’t exactly the basis of a healthy diet, at any age.

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Photo by trekkyandy

298 comments

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

Gotopless O.
Gotopless O.4 years ago

#Women have the constitutional right to Go Topless in public whether nursing or not. That is why the non profit GoTopless.org is organizing a GoTopless Day every year on Aug 26: Women's Equality Day. When our topless right is acknowledged, this oreo cookie non sense will disappear. Repressed minds have amazingly twisted thinking

Gotopless O.
Gotopless O.4 years ago

#Women have the constitutional right to Go Topless in public whether nursing or not. That is why the non profit GoTopless.org is organizing a GoTopless Day every year on Aug 26: Women's Equality Day. When our topless right is acknowledged, this oreo cookie non sense will disappear. Repressed minds have amazingly twisted thinking

Tracey Stivala
Tracey Stivala4 years ago

Lighten up people. Breastfeeding is a fact of life and is what GOD intended!

Anna S.
Anna Schwadron4 years ago

But if you ARE sick of sexual nudity on tv and in movies, please sign this petition and spread the word: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/end-nudity-in-movies.html

Emily S.
Emily S.4 years ago

I think all mom's should breastfeed! Thats what they (breasts) are for! :)

James Taylor
James Taylor4 years ago

Good for you Sophi! I think the world would be a much better place if there were more people you! I would not be offended if you had sat near and started breastfeeding I think it's a lovely motherly thing to do and every woman should be allowed to breastfeed whenever and wherever they want or have to! I think it might even do people good as a kind of peaceful calming effect in the hyperactivity of daily life! It should be encouraged. I think the men (and women!) who are against breastfeeding says more about them and society as a whole. It's difficult not to draw the conclusion that they are embarassed and still see the breasts as sexual even when it is clearly not a sexual situation!