Huggies Flunks Dad Test, Alters Campaign

We're not idiots, fathers tell Kimberly-Clark

Huggies has pulled ads from its Facebook page after folks got cranky over the Kimberly-Clark brand's "Dad Test" campaign. A rash of complaints slammed the work for depicting fathers as deficient and indifferent caregivers. Surveys show more dads than ever taking on significant child-rearing chores, so it's no surprise the ads generated backlash in the blogosphere, including a high-profile online petition by full-time at-home Pennsylvania dad Chris Routly that garnered more than 1,300 signatures. His mantra: "We're dads, Huggies. Not dummies." Client rep Joey Mooring says the intention was not to poke fun at dads "but only feature real dads, with their own babies in real-life situations, putting our Huggies diapers and baby wipes to the test. We have learned that our intended message did not come through, and we have made changes." After meeting with angry fathers at the Dad Summit 2.0 last week in Austin, Texas, Huggies spiked the most reviled spot—showing dads apparently more engrossed in watching spots on TV than minding their young kids—replacing it with "Easy Chair" (below), which depicts happy babies napping in their fathers' laps. The brand has also nixed an online image of a perplexed-looking dad in a business suit in favor of a can-do type in a T-shirt holding a baby. Some commenters remain fussy about the campaign's entire premise, blasting the implication that leaving dads alone with their babies constitutes "the ultimate test." Huggies says it's considering more alterations, including a new tagline, so it looks like changing time isn't over yet. Who's the poopface now, Huggies?