Procter & Gamble Public Relations: Put a Pampers on Your Crappy PR

Procter Gamble PR

If you look inside your Pampers diaper pail, and a stink wafts into your face, it may be Procter & Gamble PR poop. Either Procter & Gamble is trying to turn the Internet into a soap opera, or their PR sniffed too many chemicals.

Procter & Gamble is a company with a strong reputation, a company trusted by millions. The bad news for their brand came when they betrayed this trust of many, then tried to cover up their actions using some of the dirtiest PR tricks in the book.

The story of the dirty Pampers diapers is no longer news, but a battle of wills. On one side, the few thousands of parents out of probably hundreds of thousands who dared to speak against Pampers via Facebook and other online channels. On the other side, the paid mommy bloggers who responded to P&G’s “plea for help” and transformed overnight into Pampers propagandists. Was this  out of their “genuine love/like for the brand?” Surely.  But wait, things get even dirtier as the CPSC has released no information so far about the diapers in question, despite the many consumer complaints that were submitted online, or through other channels.

The paid mommy bloggers defend Pampers with data from Pampers. The angry Facebook parents have other data, as you can see in these images, sent to me by one of the parents who joined this group.

A diaper rash caused by Pampers.

I will not name this parent now, although I do have permission to publish these images. I am hoping that the parent will come here to tell a story in his/her own words. In all honesty, it’s too painful to look at this image and write about it. Can you imagine what that child went through? Will one of the kind sponsored reviews mommy bloggers give us an explanation for these burns? Because in a propaganda piece titled “The Truth Behind Pampers Dry Max” the avid and altruistic (!) Tiffany Snedaker is 100% for the brand, touting loudly that this is the safest product ever, developed for over 5 years.

She goes on, explaining sycophantically, how Pampers made a mistake introducing a new product in the old package, because no, it was not fair. But hey, give Pampers a break, they meant no harm. She goes on, describing how the “evil” Facebook group criticizing Pampers was born, and how her own son had diaper rash once a long time ago, which was not from the diaper…

And again the witty reader wonders: “Why are these incidents called diaper rashes if they are not caused by the diapers?”  Because they happen inside the diaper? They appear out of nowhere, like UFOs, they have no explanation whatsoever… or if they do, it is NEVER the diaper. Is it just me, or does the following sound extremely dazed and incoherent?

I’m not 100% sure how the diaper rash occurred, but it could have been many things.

You see, unlike Tiffany Snedaker, who likes to invoke the mighty 100% every time she expresses an idea, Pampers know exactly how and why many diaper rashes occur. They also know that the “new and improved” diaper is thinner not because this is a break-through, but because it saves a few cents per diaper in production costs – as if their diapers were not already expensive enough. The proof that they are simply saving on materials? Well, in her generous description of the new Dry Max diapers, Kate Marsh Lord gives us all the details:

“Like me, some people have wondered how can a diaper that is 20% thinner and looks so different be made of the same material. I mean, Pampers made a big deal about how new and different Dry Max is from previous diapers. But, as I understand it, the thing that makes Dry Max so different is the process of making the diaper. The new technology uses less “pulp” – making the diaper thinner – and slightly more absorbent gel (like 5%) that is carefully placed strategically where babies need it most.”

Another way to throw dust in your eyes is to invoke the good old charity donations:

Additionally, they have an excellent record of giving to charities including Unicef. I won’t saddle you down with all the good deeds they do on a daily basis, but it should be noted there is a plethora of them.

This quote comes from Stephanie Manner Wagner, who is either not too bright or she seriously believes that her readers are that ignorant. I must admit I would not have given her credit before of knowing what a plethora was. Given all this, I expect she figures it is probably part of her baby she  has not looked up on Wikipedia.  “My baby’s plethora is just happy as a clam with Dry Max on it.” Good God.

Think about it for a moment: is Pampers really giving to charities out of altruism, or is it because they need a tax deduction? Add to this free PR, brand enforcement and free advertising, and POOF. And don’t forget: it’s YOUR money they use. YOU pay that extra dollar they will donate, because Pampers are 1 dollar more expensive than brands with similar quality that don’t make such claims. No pro Pampers thoughts from Renee Bigner yet.

And, while the US “burns” waiting for the CPSC to do their own tests for once, on products sent by parents and not provided by Pampers (as we all hope); P&G aims at the European market, where finally parents complain about their products as well. In the UK, BBCWatchdog reports that they have recently received dozens of complaints about Pampers’ range of Active Fit nappies. Apparently, in UK, P&G launched the new Pampers in the same package as their older product too. The only clue that the nappies have changed was a small purple leaflet tucked inside the pack, asking for feedback.

Now I don’t know about you, but as I see it, there’s something terribly stinky in those diapers, and that’s not baby poop!

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Comments

  1. Polly Palumbo says

    I’m following the Dry Max debate as I’m technically a “mommy blogger” in addition to a former researcher and mother of three diaper-free children – and I too have been invited to go to Pampers. I hope you’ll notice that I run my blog, MommaData as an independent site (free of outside funding/advertising) that is dedicated to providing accurate, accessible, reliable, and NUANCED information about the science and evidence behind child health claims. Read my post on the Pampers controversy and you’ll find one mommy blogger not satisfied with either side in this debate. Stay tuned for my thoughts following my trip to P&G’s Baby Center. (http://mommadata.blogspot.com/2010/06/poop-on-pampers-dry-max-diaper-vs.html)

    • Mihaela Lica says

      I read the post, Polly. You made excellent, valid points! Finally the right person to call in, I think! Maybe Pampers heard us? The parents on Facebook only want to be heard, you know? When you are there, just recommend those Pampers people to hear mothers who had problems, to talk to them, to give them the data and the necessary advice. Thank you for providing the link to your site. :)

  2. Danielle says

    I have ALWAYS used huggies on my son since he was born. But about a month ago I got a coupon in the mail for these Pampers Dry Max Crusiers. So I figured I would try them, see if they would be a good fit to my very mobile 2 year old. After 2 days, a rash started. By day 3 there were blusters all over. The rash covered every inch the diaper did. So right away I took my son to The Children’s hosiptal urgent care. They asked me what diapers i was using, I showed them, they told me to stop using them right away, and gave my an RX for some kind of burn cream. Now 3 weeks later, my son has horrible scars all over from the rash/blusters.

    I sure hope has my son gets older this scars from what the pampers dry max did to him wont be visible for him as an adult….

    All Pampers told me was, thank you for the concern, would you like some coupons for more diapers? Seriously why would i ever use this product again?

    • Phil Butler says

      Danielle, I am so sorry. This story just gets more and more horrible. Keep us updated on this please. I think the CEO of Pampers should have to wear these diapers for a month and into court where the final judgment is passed. Somehow that seems more fair than coupons.

      Always,
      Phil

  3. Amanda Burdick says

    My 9 month old daughter got chemical burns on her bottom after 48 hours of using the pampers diapers. never has she had a problem with even normal diaper rash.these burns were confirmed by her doctor as chemical burns and have since healed and left scars. i have contacted every agency and outlet possible. The responses ive gotten from P&G is “we’ll send coupons, please try our other diapers that dont have dry max technology.” i will not support a company that is being bombarded with evidence, and still is yet to accept responsibility. I will also never put my daughter in anything with the pampers name on it again.

    • Phil Butler says

      Amanda,

      I am so sorry. This is actually all so unthinkable. We have a 20 month old who had some difficulty with Pampers early on, so we switched. Pretty bad rashes if I remember. He seldom has any inflammation now. Almost never in fact. But, in your case (in conjunction with the others), the severity indicates to me that something uniform went on. As that obtuse Mommy Blogger Pampers sympathizer put it; “I am 100 percent sure of this!”

      Whether this was “process related” or formulation related, Pampers have a problem they have yet to reveal. I am sure that the Moms and their friends on Facebook need to do several things. First, maintain a very tight unity. Second, get this word out via their networks to even more concerned Moms and friends. Third, investigate the possibility of even more groups of class action law suits for Moms and babies affected who have not joined.

      In the end, Pamper, Procter and Gamble, any major corporation only reacts to one thing – money. Another 10 class action lawsuits, relying one on the other for what is called “precedent” will make them react I assure you. There is unfortunately no way to take your child’s pain or scars away for P & G. But, their arrogance, inhumanness, and callousness can be made punishable.

      Do you have any of the DryMax diapers that caused these rashes left Amanda? If you do, perhaps we can have some of my friends in the scientific community test them for a list of chemicals and data on where and what is going on with them? Any way, please accept our deepest concern and regard for your little one and all those who were injured. This is something that should not be forgotten. Companies like P & G are doing us all a great disservice, and not only with diapers. This is my view, and I think it will soon be revealed.

      Always,
      Phil

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