After enduring hours of contractions and pushing out an 8-pound baby, a new mom usually settles into her hospital bed to snuggle up with her newborn. Nurses, a doctor, possibly a lactation consultant, and an endless stream of overjoyed friends and family drop by--and now new moms might get a visit from a Disney representative. Huh? http://imgs.sfgate.com/blogs/images/...one624x523.jpg
Disney wants new moms to visit its BabyZone website, selling Disney-themed apparel.
The Walt Disney Company is working harder than ever to reach younger children. They plan to lock new moms into the Disney brand by introducing them to its BabyZone line of Disney-themed apparel and other products for babies, ranging from strollers to baby food. And they hope to accomplish their goal by stepping into the maternity ward.
Last month, according to the New York Times
, Disney visited 580 maternity hospitals in the United States. No, the representative isn't donning a Mickey Mouse and passing out theme park tickets (darn!). She simply brings the new mom a free Disney Cuddly Bodysuit and invites her to sign up for email alerts from DisneyBaby.com.
Companies have been marketing their wares to new moms for years. Hospitals usually passes out gift bags with diaper and formula samples, but this is the first time Disney has targeted new moms immediately after childbirth.
Reactions to Disney's marketing plan are mixed.
"This is taking advantage of families at an extremely vulnerable time," Jeff McIntyre, director of national policy for the advocacy group Children Now, told the NY Times
Elizabeth Carter, who gave birth to her daughter in Piedmont, Calif., and was given a Disney Cuddly Bodysuit in a gift bag, told the Times
: "It surprised me that Disney was in there promoting something right as the baby was born, but we figured as new parents we weren't in a position to turn free things down."