Monday, November 14, 2011

If you sleep with your baby, you might as well chop its head off.

(click ads, via)
Nothing like scaring the absolute poop out of people about SIDS. Prints ads via the city of Milwaukee targeting—judging by the copy—poor parents about the danger of sleeping with their babies. Well, I know next to nothing about caring for a baby (as I hate kids), but I DO know that babies die sleeping in cribs, too. In fact, they die doing almost anything at that age! Another thing I do know is that that headline is very awkward.
The ad agency here is Serve Marketing, a "cause" agency that has a track record of doing awards-bait "shocking" ads like these very creepy statutory rape ads.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, super exaggeration/scare tactics. It's actually healthier developmental-wise for babies to sleep with their mothers while they are in the breast-feeding stage. Almost every other country outside of America does it. And we're the ones with the awful infant mortality rate.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous dadranter said...

I'd usually try to show up on this blog with something mildly funny, but this ad really bugs me to no end, so allow me to respond seriously.

So: you're right CR, there's danger everywhere for a newborn, including the crib. Hell, some babies won't even sleep on their backs, no matter what you do. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it, & to hell with the doctor's advice. Not to mention that doctors, nurses, midwifes & other professionals continuously contradict each other on every baby-related topic (ask anyone who's ever had kids). It's up to the parents to decide, after considering the information available, what is best for their kids.

With this in mind, I'll just say that this ad doesn't inform, it just scares parents with an old, unfounded myth. Most serious books on child care say that there's good & bad in both methods (parent's bed or crib), & not much of a risk increase either way.

And yes, in case anyone wonders, my son slept with us for over half a year after his birth & is now growing up into a fun, well-adjusted kid. Obviously that's just my own anecdotal evidence, so if you're thinking of doing the same then get informed, & don't rely on just one source, especially one that seems to assume you're some two-cent dimwit that needs their hand held at all times.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The black baby is sleeping on the stomach? Did anyone actually consult a doctor before choosing these ads, or was it just a fear of showing baby nipple?

Put your baby on its back, whether it's placed in a crib, a hammock, a sofa, the floor, the rumble seat of a '29 Chevy, your bed, my bed, or anywhere else you put a baby to sleep.

Stupid fear ads showing even worse stuff than what the ad purports to be against. (And I slept in the same with my babies and all three lived.)

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WTF? Fear of a black nipple? Do you not see that the ad is specifically telling people that it's dangerous to let children sleep on their stomachs? And so it's illustrating a child sleeping on its stomach within range of a butcher knife? Because it's dangerous?

Jesus, if only you'd spent as long looking at the image and/or reading the post as you did typing this inane comment.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Richard Whittall said...

This is absolute nonsense. The studies that linked co-sleeping to SIDS neglect to mention they included alcoholics and drug users in their samples, who were much, much more likely to roll over and suffocate their babies.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Andisheh Nouraee said...

I won't dispute the creepiness of the ad, but the rise of the "babies should sleep on their backs" public information campaign has coincided with a 50% decline in crib death. The point the ad is trying to make is an important one, even if the style is extremely off-putting.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Milwauken said...

Four years ago, Milwaukee was ranked 7th for infant mortality among the largest US cities, and things are getting any better. Black babies are dying at a much higher rate than white babies, and unsafe sleeping practices are a common cause of death. The new ads target minority parents, especially those under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Creepy? Yeah. Effective? We'll see.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Vipula s said...

A silly,scary ad and I say this as a 8 mo pregnant woman.
In many cultures, baby sleeping with parents is common but there is also a lot of help for the tired mother. The woman usually has her mother take care of the baby and can focus on her own well being too.

In the US, only the wealthy can afford that level of support and supplies. A crib is no guarantee that bad parenting will save the baby. Poverty causes bad food choices and so many other health problems that are equally bad if not worse, for both mother and baby.
I hope the promo works but it really does not address the other factors that are more important.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Do you not see that the ad is specifically telling people that it's dangerous to let children sleep on their stomachs?"

Showing a baby on its belly and having the LARGE TEXT say the adult bed is the issue and that the adult bed is the problem suggests something other than what is in the smaller text. In effect, the graphic shows how to kill a black baby in two ways while it shows one way to kill a white baby. Regardless of the racial statistics related to babies dying in cribs, using the same text for both photos doesn't provide the most effective message to achieve the desired end.

9:01 AM  

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