Kraft Foods has claimed its controversial Oreo breastfeeding baby advert was “never meant to go public”.
Kraft Foods said the provocative picture of a child clenching a chocolate cookie while suckling on a woman’s breast was only supposed to be used once.
The nipple-exposing promo was made by its Cheil Worldwide agency, it added, which was merely going to use it for an advertising forum.
It also denied widely the reported allegations that it had been was running in publications across South Korea.
The image, with the headline of “Milks Favourite Cookie”, has caused quite a storm, and seriously divided opinion, on online forums, blogs and Twitter.
One said: “There is a thin line between creative liberty and ethics. A complete fail for me.”
Another added her disgust by saying: “Simply not pleasant. Nor appealing. (Are you going to have a nice warm cup of mother’s milk with your cookie now?)”
But others said they loved the picture. Thenikcreative posted on adsoftheworld.com: “Are you guys kidding? As an OREO fan I find this ad absolutely fantastic.
“The art direction is great – the look in the babies eyes is priceless … well done Cheil.”
And ashtrinjuljim said: “I’m a mother of 3 …I see nothing wrong with this ad…its natural for a mother to breast feed and if that’s the part u take offense to then Ur a prude plan and simple.
“The whole part about the baby holding the Oreo is cute and eye catching…..and as for those of u who think mothers breasts don’t look like the while breast feeding guess what some moms do! Get over yourself and Ur own insecurity….”
Some have suggested the “leak” of the advert could be part of Oreo’s 100th birthday promotional campaign which it officially celebrated last month.
A Kraft Foods spokesman said: “This ad was created by our agency for a one-time use at an advertising forum. It was never intended for public distribution or use with consumers.
“It has never run in Korea or any other markets.”
Born on March 6, 1912, the Oreo brand now fetches a staggering $1.5 billion in global revenues and is the world’s top selling cookie of the 21st Century.
A staple in households from New Jersey to Indonesia, the first ever Oreo was baked by the National Biscuit Co. bakery on West 15th Street in New York City.
The company sold its first batch of the creme-filled delights by weight in Hoboken, New Jersey, for $0.30/lb.
Inspired advertising campaigns right from the outset have ensured an enduring shelf life for the traditional cookie.
With slogans like “Oh-oh! Oreo” and “Milk’s favourite cookie”, along with collaborations with ice cream manufacturers and milk advertisers, the name Oreo is never far from one’s mind when it comes to the thought of tasty tea-time treats.
The decorative design of the cookie itself has changed only slightly since its inception when in the Fifties the Nabisco emblem was incorporated into the embossing.
Nowadays Oreos take 59 minutes to make and are covered in a pattern of 12 flowers, 12 dots and 12 dashes, and 90 ridges around the edge.
Sold in over 100 countries, the cookies are adored by children and adults alike from China to Chile where variations take into account local flavors and cultural tastes.
In Argentina, three layers of Oreo cookie and creme are covered in chocolate to make a traditional Argentine snack cake.