Dry Max PR Goofs: Pampers Attempts to Buy Trust

2010-05-21 by EPR Staff

Pampers Public Relations

Four women, mommy bloggers, are now involved in one of the worse PR blunders of all times. Renee Bigner, Kate Marsh Lord, Tiffany Snedaker, and Stephanie Manner Wagner responded positively to Procter & Gamble’s call, attending a meeting where various Dry Max defenders persuaded them that the product was completely safe, and was, by no means, a reason for rashes.

The bloggers received product samples as compensation for their presence in the meeting. Also, all their trip expenses have been paid.

One of these bloggers, Kate Marsh Lord, whose baby developed a severe rash wearing a Dry Max diaper, left the conference firmly convinced that the product was, in fact safe, and that the rash her baby developed had nothing to do with the diapers. Before attending this meeting, the baby’s pediatrician assured her of the same thing:

“While Pampers has been extremely generous (even flying my kids to the HQ with me since my husband is out of town), I am really going with the hope that I will learn more about the diapers and the company. Frankly, I’m not sure what to think about the Dry Max debate. On the one hand, my daughter had the worst diaper rash of her life while using the Dry Max diapers. On the other, I continued using them and the rash has not returned.”

None of these ladies wrote a report about the meeting just yet, but you can expect all to be positive. At the end of the day the bloggers said they felt confident about the diapers.

Interestingly, Pampers invited moms who usually have positive feelings for the brand:

I am packed and on my way to Pampers Headquarters in Cincinnati! I am a huge fan of Pampers and personally really like the new diapers with Dry Max. I searched for them in the store after receiving some for review when they were first released. Fortunately, Blake has had no issues with the Dry Max Diapers, but there seems to be many babies that have. […] My degree is in science and I do research for a living, so I am excited to see how they test their products and what results they saw. I will be sure to report my findings and will be happy to address any issues and questions that you may have. – wrote Renee Bigner before the conference. Interestingly, she is a “huge fan” and has a degree in science. Pampers knows how to pick them.

The other lady, Tiffany Snedaker, does sponsored reviews for a living. Her first review of a product was based on samples provided by Pampers’ PR company. She too is a huge fan, and a pampers advocate.

We had the opportunity to review them when they first came out a few months ago, and Rowan never had a reaction. We’ve continued to use them, and still have not had any problems. It’s interesting to me that the Dry Max diaper is actually the most tested diaper out there too. When testing the diaper, over 20,000 babies and 300,000 diaper changes were involved. They had on average 2 diaper rashes reported for every million diapers.

The fourth mommy blogger, Stephanie Manner Wagner, is also a Pampers advocate:

Back in February, I received a sample of Pampers new Dry Max Diapers for review from P&G. The Pampers Dry Max Cruisers became an instant favorite in our household and we have been buying them exclusively for our twins ever since initially trying them. I just love how thin they are and have had great results with both boys. I’ve also had the opportunity to host a few giveaways here on the blog so my readers can give them a try.

So, four out of four are “huge fans” and endorse Dry Max repeatedly. Pampers is trying to fight against the mothers who experience problems with their products with the wrong weapons. The credibility of a mommy blogger who does sponsored reviews (yes, samples are a form of compensation, if you keep them!)  for a living is lower than that of a parent who doesn’t. Pampers didn’t invite at the conference any of the angry parents. The discussion still lacks transparency.

The four mommy bloggers will rush home to write positively about the meeting. Four relatively unknown bloggers are not enough to put off the fire however. It would be interesting to watch Pampers’ next moves. So far the news distributed via all major press release newswires still lacks  transparency and credibility. Till they don’t issue a public apology for calling their customers liars, till they don’t organize a meeting with the angry parents, and address these issues showing concern about their children too, Pampers will continue to dig a deeper PR hole. So many angry parents cannot all be wrong, but even if they are it is pretty apparent that Pampers is not playing the game fair.