Tropicana has been forced to apologize following uproar over an ad campaign featuring Gabrielle Union, Jerry O’Connell and Molly Sims with a secret mimosa fridge in their homes.
The campaign urged parents to #TakeAMimoment and pour themselves a drink as a mini break from their families.
It was slammed by sobriety groups and activists who claimed the ad was tone deaf and dangerous by encouraging parents to drink in secret.
Tropicana has since deleted the campaign and Union, O’Connell, and Sims have removed their posts.
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Tropicana was slammed for this campaign featuring secret refrigerators that encouraged parents to have a mimosa as a mini break from their families, as pictured above
Social media users criticized the ad which featured Gabrielle Union, pictured
The video for the campaign featured the celeb line-up talking about taking a break while they poured a drink from special booze-filled refrigerators that were disguised as laundry hampers and toolboxes.
‘It’s when you hide in your closet and you pretend like you have a hamper, but it’s actually a minifridge,’ Sims said in the now deleted video to her Instagram account.
‘It’s amazing. It’s so I can be a better mom. The best mom,’ she added using the hashtag #TakeAMimoment.
Union is also shown sneaking into the bathroom in a robe for her own break.
‘My bathroom has actually become my space of serenity when mama needs a break even if I’m just collecting my thoughts, doing my beauty or hair-care routine or scrolling through Instagram,’ she said in the press release.
While in O’Connell’s clip, he slips out to fix himself a drink from a fake toolbox.
‘You can’t take care of your family if you don’t take care of yourself,’ he says.
Tropicana had also sent out a tweet to parents stating: ‘Parents, you’re juggling it all! Find the ultimate moment of brightness for yourself – wherever and whenever – with a Tropicana mimosa, of course! #TakeAMimoment to help make your mornings a little brighter.
‘You should most definitely give into that craving and #TakeAMimoment to brighten your day!’ it added in response to one social media user.
Tropicana had encouraged social media users to #TakeAMimoment as part of the campaign
The campaign had quoted a survey of 1,000 parents that claimed parenting was sometimes so chaotic that ‘they just need a moment for themselves’.
‘And nearly all parents agree that this year more than ever, they look for ways to create small moments of brightness in their days,’ the press release read.
‘Tropicana is helping parents find those moments – wherever and whenever they can – by creating incognito mini-fridges filled with the makings for mimosas to provide moms and dads with the ultimate “Mimoment” for themselves.’
Yet after several groups and social media users mounted their own campaign to complain about the ad, Tropicana issued an apology on Tuesday.
‘We want to apologize to anyone who is disappointed in or offended by our recent campaign,’ the orange juice brand tweeted.
‘The intent behind it was in no way meant to imply that alcohol is the answer or make light of the struggles of addiction.
Tropicana apologized and removed the campaign on Tuesday after severe backlash
‘While we believed we were bringing the #TakeAMimoment program to life in the right way — through a message of positivity and balance mixed with a bit of levity – we hear the feedback that for some we’ve missed the mark,’ it added.
‘Accordingly, we’re ceasing any further activity in support of the campaign. We value the comments and perspectives that have been shared and will use it as a lens for evaluating future campaigns.’
Among the backlash the campaign received, some mothers claimed it encouraged addiction buy normalizing drinking in secret.
‘Addiction, especially in women and mothers, is at an all-time high and normalizing hiding in your closet to drink your secret alcohol stash and escape your children is dangerous,’ wrote user morgancrane.co on Instagram, where a rival campaign was started encouraging parents to post with another brand of orange juice to voice their anger.
‘Wow. Your new TV commercial directly targeting vulnerable, stressed out, anxious parents during the pandemic is epic. I hope that it sells a ton of orange juice, so that you will responsibly donate the profits to Recovery Centers of America, actually “helping” the millions of parents who are struggling with alcohol right now,’ added the account @youdonthavetohitrockbottom.
‘Disgraceful. Secret drinking leads to serious problems and pain,’ wrote Stephen Dalziel.
Mothers on Instagram began a campaign posing with other orange juice brands
Many criticized that Tropicana had encouraged alcohol use as a coping mechanism.
‘This campaign is insulting & demeaning to moms at best & dangerous at worst. Hiding alcohol around your house & sneaking off to drink it alone is disordered drinking,’ slammed @thedivorcesurvivalguide.
Recovery Unplugged blasted it as #tonedeaf claiming that the campaign ‘encouraged parents to beat holiday stress by hiding alcohol from their families and drinking in secret’.
‘Normalizing hiding in your bathroom drinking to escape your children isn’t cool. This year has been hard but finding the right way to cope is so important!’ said @kelsey_ratzlaff.
And @smlbennett added: ‘Last time I checked hiding your alcohol and “escaping’ to get in a drink wasn’t an earned treat.’
Twitter users were also disgusted at the campaign with one user claiming: ‘#TakeAMimoment represents everything that is wrong with alcohol in this country.’
‘Mommy wine culture is a lie and it’s killing us. You don’t need to #TakeAMimoment. You just need to try new ways to manage stress + overwhelm,’ said @JenHirst.
She claimed that alcohol companies targeting mothers during the pandemic ‘sickens me’.
‘They have been capitalizing on our generation’s “new age” beliefs by incorporating “self-care” terms to heighten our interest,’ Hirst added.
Another #pleasemarketresponsibly campaign was started on Twitter by sobriety groups with account The Dry Diary tweeting, ‘Hiding in our bathrooms away from our loved ones to consume alcohol in secret is not a form of self-care, it is a form of self-destruction. We deserve better. I just wanted to #takeamimoment to express my disgust.’
Social media users blasted the campaign as tone deaf
Some claimed the campaign was ‘every that is wrong with alcohol in this country’
‘Mommy wine culture is a lie and it’s killing us,’ wrote one critic
Others accused alcohol companies of targeting mothers during the pandemic
‘100% tone-deaf to what is going on in the world today. We are in the middle of a mental health crisis and you’re encouraging parents to hide their drinking,’ wrote The Sober Curator.
‘The @Tropicana #TakeAMimoment campaign: Women lying to their families, sneaking off to consume alcohol hidden in secret compartments. Slamming a mimosa in the laundry room isn’t cute and it’s not “treating yourself”. That’s 1950s “mother’s little helper” bulls**t,’ added @juniper_green.
Certain Twitter users were still angered after Tropicana’s apology and said it was not enough
‘FWIW, the campaign didn’t “imply” alcohol was the answer… it was *explicit* in demonstrating that hiding from one’s family —including leaving young children unsupervised— to drink alone was the answer. I’m gonna need to #TakeAMimoment to process your weak apology,’ wrote account Since Right Now.
Some did defend Tropicana claiming, ‘Many parents get the humor and aren’t offended’.
‘My thought is that not everybody is an addict,’ write @Lex_Jurgen.
‘We have the highest obesity rate in the world, killing so many, yet we don’t castigate the tons of ads showing people indulging in cheesecake or ice cream after a hard day. It’s an ad.’
However, the campaign was also criticized by sobriety support networks who claimed it was dangerous.
Tropicana was accused of encouraging parents to hide their drinking
Some social media users did defend the campaign claiming ‘not everybody is an addict’
‘The two biggest red flags someone has an alcohol problem is hiding the consumption from others, and relying on alcohol to get through the day,’ Martha Duke of Recovering Out Loud told Page Six.
‘At a time when alcohol consumption by women is up at dangerously high rates, it is irresponsible for a company or celebrity to put their stamp of approval on what [could] essentially [be] the beginning of alcohol dependence,’ said added.
‘A woman who is questioning her own relationship with alcohol is less likely to seek help if it is deemed a normal coping mechanism for stress.’
Emily Lynn Paulson, the founder of the online support group Sober Mom Squad, told Yahoo that while the original survey quoted by Tropicana was correct in saying that parents are in need of a break, there are other ways to do that without a reliance on alcohol.
‘The initial survey findings done by Tropicana are absolutely valid: parents need a break. While the direction they chose to take the campaign were unfortunate, the reality is, parents are struggling,’ she said.
‘When we’re stressed, anything new feels harder,’ said psychologist Lynn F. Bufka, a spokesperson for the American Psychological Association. ‘It’s helpful to have a few strategies to pull from your back pocket.’
‘As a professional, it’s concerning when alcohol becomes the only coping mechanism.’