A new Korean ad for Oreos created by Kraft’s ad agency has ignited a whirlwind of controversy. The ad shows a baby feeding from a breast and holding an Oreo cookie in its hand. The accompanying slogan is “Milk’s favorite cookie.”
A spokesperson from Kraft told CBS St. Louis that the ad was not intended for mass public consumption.
“We’d like to clarify that Kraft Foods did not create this visual,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“In fact, this visual was created by our agency for a one-time use at an advertising awards program.”
The spokesperson added: “It was never intended for public distribution or use with consumers. And it has never run in Korea or any other markets.”
A representative from Kraft Foods reached out to HuffPost Food to clarify the origins of this ad. The ad was created by Kraft’s ad agency, Cheil Worldwide, for a one-time use at an advertising forum and was not intended for public distribution or use with consumers.
Contributing editor Kavita Varma-White at MSNBC writes: “It’s one thing to cheer when other cultures portray breast-feeding as normal. But isn’t there something kind of icky about the way this ad blatantly sexualizes breast-feeding?”
Kavita adds: “The photo also conjures up the image of some ad genius – we’re betting it was a guy, or a group of them – sitting around thinking, ‘How can we make a cookie look sexy?’ Cookies. Milk. Kids. Breast milk. Boobs!”
The Huffington Post also chimed in:
“We’ll give Oreo credit for using a different kind of milk than what comes in a carton, but the provocative ad might have a narrow reach. Perhaps the company has found reason to target breastfeeding women, or Mayim Bialik fans. (Or those that enjoy watching a woman breastfeed, we suppose).”
While some may be offended at the ad’s brazen conspicuousness, no one should be surprised that a patriarchal Madison Avenue — in this case Kraft’s ad agency — is using sex to sell an Oreo cookie. Sex sells, and Madison Avenue knows it.
What I find particularly loathsome are junk food ads geared towards children. Children in America spend approximately 44.5 hours per week watching television and are exposed to up to 3,055 ads per year. Around 50 percent of the ads are for candy, snacks, sugary cereal, and fast food.
One third of American children are overweight or obese, and 50 percent of overweight children remain overweight even into adulthood.
Also offensive are McDonald’s inane ads and their effort to exploit the local food movement with a lame and asinine attempt to associate the unwholesome ingredients in Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, and French fries, with small local farmers.