The Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment ad with a father and daughter has come under fire after five women reported it for showing the child’s genitals and the father touching her “inappropriately”. According to Timeslive the women were complaining that the “commercial itself was inappropriate given the problem of baby rape and sexual assault.”
The unconventional ad showing a man doing something usually done by women on ads was targeting the stereotype that nappy changing is the mother’s job. Not only did they use a man, but they used a relatively big tattooed one to show him as society’s “gentle giant”.
The ad has stirred up a lot of commotion because not only is it unconventional, but it also provokes emotions linked with societal trauma. South Africa is the rape capital of the world, and more often than not, child rape cases are reported, and a relative is a perpetrator.
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Bayer, the German firm that makes Bepanthen, stated that “it fully acknowledges and rebukes the atrocious acts of violence against women and children in SA, this advert in no way should be linked to these heinous crimes.”
The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) complainants were identified as Magda van Biljon, Carol Coney, Jacqueline Mitchell, Abrama Kok and Gwynneth Maree.
ARB acknowledged the below:
- Sexual crimes against women and children are a serious issue in South Africa
- The ad is attempting to challenge societal parenting stereotypes by using a man instead of a woman
- The image of the father (bearing tattoos) is adding to the concern of the audience, leading to the conclusion that the application of the ointment is sexual
- The ointment was not applied sexually and the child’s genitals are not exposed
Shared on multiple parenting groups, the reception was mostly unanimous. Most moms did not see anything wrong with it, some hailing it for addressing such an important stereotype.
The video as shared on the Bapanthem Arabia Youtube Channel has received over 27 million views, and has comments turned off due the criticism is has received.
Watch the full video below:
Karabo Mokoena is a wife, a girl mom, a writer and content creator. She is the Resident Contributor for Parenty and a Mommy Blogger, creating relatable parenting content for her blog Black Mom Chronicles. You can engage with her on her Instagram and Facebook pages. She is a Political Science graduate, who has worked in Human Resources for most of her professional career. She loves engaging with people, thus her choice to specialise in recruitment. She loves telling stories and sharing her life’s journey to brighten someone else’s day