I take four medications each day. My husband also takes a couple. My four year old daughter, Delilah, has on more than one occasion expressed an interest in having her own “vitamins” like ours. I probably don’t need to tell you our medicine is stored high and out of reach.
More than once, I’ve explained to her that while the “vitamins” are helping Mommy and Daddy, her body is actually producing everything she needs on her own, which is even better, and medicine that she doesn’t need could actually hurt her. It’s a frequent discussion. She still thinks we’re cool and wants to be just like us.
This past weekend, I celebrated BlogHer’s 10th Anniversary in San Jose with a few thousand other bloggers. Also in attendance? A plethora of brands who had paid good money to put their products in front of all those publishing Moms. Amongst them? Bright Starts, a major producer of baby toys.
I stopped briefly at their booth where they slipped a padded envelope into my hand emblazoned with their logo. Press materials, I figured, and I dropped it into the branded swag tote I’d been issued earlier.
And then this morning I started to sort through what I’d been handed. I opened the envelope, and I pulled out this very authentic looking pill bottle jam packed with candy, prescribed to laughter lover, and imprinted with the seal of the “Bright Starts Pharmacy: Where Fun Comes From.” Delilah was standing next to me and wondered aloud if they were for her. One of the below bottles holds enough xanax to euthanize a shetland pony and the other contains red hots. Can you tell which is which?
What in the actual fuck, Bright Starts? How many people did this concept go through before you allowed your PR team to hand out pill bottles filled with candy for parents of small children to carry home alongside branded stuffed animals and cookies with hosting company logos on them? And what exactly were all of them taking? Is this really where you think the fun comes from?
Pills are not funny. They’re not toys. They’re not even swag. They’re deadly when placed in the wrong hands. So what were you thinking Bright Starts?
Thanks to commenter Monica Brady for sharing this image:
Update: Bright Starts rep Allison Nacalik called me today to talk about the ill-conceived swag. The company did not defend their decision to use pill bottles as a part of what they called their Baby Laugh Index “Prescription for Laughter” booth experience, but rather wanted to apologize for what they tell me they now see as a serious error in judgement. They have agreed to send out an email to all BlogHer attendees tomorrow highlighting the importance of pill safety for children and families.
And I only play sanctimonious every third Monday.