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‘Give Them Your Breast’ Breastfeeding Ad in Mexico Sparked Controversy

May 27, 2014 12:07 AM EDT
Mexico City health official launched a new campaign in May to boost image of nursing mothers.
(Photo : Twitter: @fredric_wertham) New breastfeeding ad in Mexico slammed.

In Mexico City, a new ad aiming to promote breastfeeding was slammed by health advocates saying that the billboards sexualized images of celebrities rather than encourage mothers to nurse. Health advocates say that the ads were sending a wrong message to nursing moms, giving them an unrealistic image of what motherhood is.

Some of the women featured in the ads were Mariana Juarez, Cecilia Galliano and Camila Soda. All of them were shirtless and toned. The images were like that you'd see in a men's magazine, which sparked the negative reaction from health advocates.

All the ads looked the same. The ad models had seductive facial expressions with their breast covered with a banner. The banner showed words in Spanish that translates to "Don't turn your back on them ... Give them your breast."

According to TIME, Regina Tames of the GIRE reproductive rights group said "It's not only a very terrible campaign in terms of how it looks, but it's also the message that if you don't breastfeed, you are a bad mother and you are the one to blame." And "We were very surprised once the campaign was launched."

As the controversy over the breastfeeding ad grew, even ad model Sodi said that the ad was done in "bad taste." She said that she is not to be associated with the breastfeeding campaign as she was not consulted with the final artwork and didn't authorize anything.

Breastfeeding ads in Mexico are very important as it is the lowest city in Latin America with nursing mothers. Only 14 percent of mothers nurse their child exclusively in the first six months, a standard recommended by the World Health Organization. Long hours of work, poverty and poor nutrition are the top reasons for the lack of breastfeeding. That's not all, mothers do not have maternity leaves and are discouraged to pump milk at work.

In such a case, the right breastfeeding campaign should be put in place. Otherwise, it can do more harm than good and rather, discourage more mothers to nurse their baby thinking that there should be an image to be emulated.

What do you think? Was the ad done in poor taste?


FOLLOW: breastfeeding, World Health Organization, Mexico, Give Them Your Breast, Mariana Juarez, Cecilia Galliano, Camila Soda

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