WEEK 5: A Conversation with Guest Speaker Jessica Gottlieb by Teresa Ellison

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By UCLA X469.21 Student Teresa Ellison 

Teresa Ellison

Teresa Ellison

Mommy Blogger Sticks It To The Man.. The Motrin Man

I had the pleasure of hearing Jessica Gottlieb speak at UCLA during Erik Deutsch’s Social Media Class. Jessica is an ex-mommy blogger, brand ambassador and founder of Word of Mouth Women – an online community connecting female bloggers with brands.

Shortly after being introduced to the class, Jessica was asked about the uproar she made in 2008 over a Motrin commercial highlighting the aches and pains of motherhood. Jessica was not a fan and felt that everything was wrong with the commercial. The tone was supposed to be humorous and appeal to new moms, but many, including Jessica, found the commercial was condescending and missed the mark.

Jessica Gottlieb

Jessica Gottlieb

The commercial included statements such as: “These things put a ton of strain on your neck and back.”

Things?! Does Motrin mean children?

The timing of the commercial also couldn’t have been worse; it followed the National Hold Your Baby Week campaign, in which Jessica played a major role. The proximity gave her an even bigger reason to despise the commercial. Being a mom herself, Jessica took pride in the very same elements of motherhood that Motrin portrayed in such a negative light.  So she felt compelled to take her disgust to the web. She spoke out on every social media platform she was on, reaching out to other moms and starting a conversation that led quickly to other conversations. Jessica quickly found out that she was not alone feeling that the tone of the Motrin Commercial was inappropriate. The backlash ultimately caused Motrin’s website to crash. And all it took was for one woman to feel offended and misrepresented, along with the reach to spark a conversation and make a difference.

In response, the CEO of Morin replied with a callous scripted apology that left Gottlieb and other moms unsatisfied and baffled. They were baffled because of the lack of preparation and readiness a company like Motrin had in its response to such a situation.

“Don’t put out videos if you’re not prepared to defend them,” Jessica stressed.

I felt this was a particularly helpful tip for all of us content creators. Motrin clearly wasn’t prepared!

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