Sunday, July 16, 2006

20/20: What's New with the breastfeeding ad story?

Friday night's 20/20 segment on the breastfeeding ads was competently done, but I have to ask what was new in their coverage. I didn't hear anything I hadn't read in muliple online commentaries, including my own. In fact, what really struck me is something that Elizabeth Vargus didn't point out. When they showed the "pregnant women in the logrolling contest" clip, that the date on the ad was 4/14/04. These ads are over 2 years old. Where and when have they been airing? I had never seen the ads at all until "The Today Show" had their segment back in June. There is no doubt in my mind that the ads are taking the wrong approach. There's no excuse for using guilt or fear to get women to breastfeed, even if such an approach gets people's attention. But now that we've learned that the government has spent $2 million to create these ads, I am wondering how useful the continued media coverage is if there isn't any additional new information. At this point, aren't the networks just giving these ridiculous ads more exposure than they would have had otherwise?

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