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Photo by Margarita Zueva on Unsplash

Many of you may have missed Tropicana’s, ahem, genius recent marketing campaign with Gabrielle Union — the ad I saw — as well as apparently Molly Sims and Jerry O’Connell — as it was only around for a few days on Instagram for good reason — but my initial post about it was already underway — and, for several reasons that I’ll be getting into, I still want to discuss it, even though they have pulled the campaign.

See, on Sunday night, word spread like wildfire through the recovery community that Tropicana — yes, the orange juice company — had lost it’s collective mind and made a commercial essentially promoting behaviors in mothers that are very much associated with alcohol abuse.

The ads were removed from Instagram yesterday.

Here is the article I read today that made me aware of the Sims and O’Connell ads so you can read about all three if you would like. I’ll be talking primarily about Gabrielle’s as it is the one I actually saw and interacted with.

https://pagesix.com/2020/12/15/tropicana-ad-encouraging-drinking-in-secret-in-poor-taste/

As this article states, in Gabrielle’s ad, she was in her bathrobe in the morning, sending her child away before she closes the door, proceeds to explain how she loves family time but the pandemic has been hard on us all, and then opens her hidden refrigerator and gets out her mimosa supplies.

Hiding her booze.

To Closet Drink.

To Day Drink.

In the Tropicana orange juice commercial.

The commercial that should have nothing in this world to do with alcohol.

Many people way up in corporate had to have thought this was a good idea, thought it was cute, okayed it. . .

What’s worse, when I went to comment that it was total garbage — and I did — I saw that — of almost 800 comments Sunday night? Only about 25 were positive. Really.

That’s not surprising.

What is though? Tropicana responded to EVERY positive comment at the time — and ignored EVERY single negative one.

Asshats.

So when they finally took it down over 24 hours later and issued this garbage apology?

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It truly rang hollow.

This episode has brought up several issues I want to address.

Tropicana, since you mentioned the pandemic before the breakfast booze came out, it should be noted that alcoholism in women was already skyrocketing prior to this year — and now binge drinking is up 41%. A fine year for the mini-fridge in the bathroom.

One of the many source articles I’ve read — from ABC News:

https://abcnews.go.com/US/alcohol-consumption-rising-sharply-pandemic-women/story?id=73302479

The rise in alcohol abuse has been devastating.

Also, as the article touched on, the number of people who had previously been in recovery, who have experienced serious relapse is truly alarming.

I would encourage everyone to read this report from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm

According to this report, the impacts of the economy, job loss, stay at home orders, COVID itself, social distancing, and isolation have included:

  • 40.9% of respondents to this study reported at least one adverse mental health response, including depression, anxiety, and increased substance abuse.
  • 10.7% of respondents reported serious suicidal ideation.
  • 13% reported having either started abusing substances or increased their use.

There is a great deal more information in this report to unpack — but it is clear that we are experiencing a mental health crisis.

So, Tropicana, tell me again, WHY did it seem like a good idea to suggest that the answer to mothers coping with the stress of COVID and quarantine and possibly sick family members or job loss or depression or perhaps all of those at once should be to consider day drinking and closet drinking as well to escape their families?

I mean, sure, they absolutely need a break — but if Gabrielle had left dad in charge in her fluffy robe and crept off to the bathroom to draw a bath with a nice bath bomb and then snuck out her own OJ and her fancy glass just for her and had a cute little tray of mini quiches hidden in that fridge too for a quiet Mommy bath reading brunch? Everyone would have thought it was cute and funny — BECAUSE NO ONE WAS EXPECTING MOMMY TO BUST OUT THE BOOZE LOCKED IN THE BATHROOM FOR BREAKFAST.

What is WRONG with you people?

A lot of people are going to need a great deal of help as a result of all the things they have experienced during this pandemic.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all to expect for you to offer substantial assistance from those deep PepsiCo owned pockets.

NAMI is desperate for resources nationally. I could see the beginning of a beautiful partnership.

If you are struggling in anyway with mental health or substance abuse issues, you are not alone — and help is available to you.

Some resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — 1.800.273.8255

http://www.aa.org/ — Alcoholics Anonymous, a traditional 12 step program. If you search, you will also find online groups available.

https://na.org/ — Narcotics Anonymous, also a traditional 12 step program. As with AA, there are online groups as well.

https://al-anon.org/ — a great resource for family members of those suffering from addiction.

https://www.celebraterecovery.com/ — Celebrate Recovery, a faith based 12 step program.

https://www.hipsobriety.com/ — This is Holly’s old site — but it still has a ton of great information. Also, she is still the editor and owner of https://www.thetemper.com and there is so much support available over there as well.

There is a wonderful Recovery community of women on Instagram. Check out: #hipsobriety #soberliving #wearetheluckiest #teetotaler #soberaf #soberlife #boozefree

https://www.nami.org/Home — NAMI is an incredible mental health resource. They can put you in touch with help within your community.

NAMI Helpline for mental health resources (if you prefer to contact them by phone) — 800.950.6264

NAMI 24 Hour Crisis Text Line — Text “NAMI” to 741741

Crisis Text Line — Text “Home” to 741741 (the same number as above)

Please do not hesitate to reach out.

Also, if you are in life-threatening crisis, please go directly to the nearest ER. They WILL help you regardless of insurance status or anything else. You are important and you are worth it.

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