A video advert for a new breast pump has divided the Internet after seemingly comparing breastfeeding mums to cows being milk.
To mark the launch of the “world’s first silent wearable breast pump,” technology company Elvie put out a tongue-in-cheek video to their Facebook page with the caption: “Breast pumping shouldn’t make you feel like a dairy cow!”
In the clip, four real mothers are seen dancing around with cows in the background, carrying pumps used to milk the animals as they’re compared with the farm animals.
“Introducing Elvie Pump, the world’s first silent wearable breast pump. Cut those cords and sing along: “these are not udders, they’re my boobs” are just some of the lyrics used in the song.
Others include: “Yes, I milk myself, but you don’t see no tail” and “In case you hadn’t noticed these are not udders, they’re my boobs.”
The chorus continues: “Pump it out, pump it out, I’m feeding them babies, pump it out, pump it out, I’m milking my ladies.”
Though the advert was designed to highlight how wearable the new ‘silent’ pump is and the freedom it will therefore offer expressing mothers, it hasn’t gone down well with everyone online.
Since sharing the video has been viewed over 81K times views and received hundreds of comments from viewers, many with mixed reactions.
Some people were of the belief that the advert was in poor taste and made light of the “horrors” of the dairy industry.
“Strange and distasteful advertisement considering the horrors of the dairy industry and what beautiful cows have to endure for human consumption of their milk, not to mention the killing of the male calves,” one user wrote.
To which Elvie responded: “We filmed this video on a family run farm where the animals are very well looked after. We can assure you their needs were put first throughout!”
“Oh dear. Really poorly judged ad in the current dairy industry climate. Shame because the product is probably good but you’re totally alienating/putting off an increasingly compassionate and eco conscious audience,” another viewer agreed.
Other critics of the advert commented that the video seemed to sexualise women’s boobs.
“Brilliant idea, but again it seems to sexualise breasts. Surely this is what we are trying to moooove ( excuse the pun) away from!!!?????” one user commented.
Elvie replied: “We’re totally with you on that, we definitely aren’t sexualising breasts here! Quite the opposite – this is why we chose to work with a female director who is a mum and our lovely troupe of dancers were all mums too. We really wanted to capture the feelings and frustrations from the perspective of mothers. Love the pun.”
But others came to the defence of the advert.
“I think this is a genus idea. I would’ve had one if I was still breastfeeding. Pumping made me feel exactly like a cow. The advert is a little mad but I took it for what it was,” one woman wrote.
“I for one like the advert and as a breastfeeding mum who spent way too long sounding like I was up to no good in whatever spare room I could find at work hooked up with wires and tubing and engorged breasts out on display think it’s long overdue to have a quiet and discreet breast pump on the market!” another mum agreed.
“I totally get the analogy of feeling like a cow. If this upsets you because of animal welfare issues then remember the alternative to breastfeeding is formula (which uses cows milk) so crack on singing and dancing with a silent milk machine in your bras Elvie!!!”
Ana Balarin, partner and ECD at Mother told Independent: “The Elvie Pump is such a revolutionary product that it deserved a bold and provocative launch.
“By drawing a parallel between expressing women and dairy cows we wanted to put breast pumping and all its challenges in the spotlight, while demonstrating in an entertaining and relatable way the incredible sense of freedom that the new pump will bring.”
It isn’t the first time the Elvie breast pump has made headlines. Last month a new mother has made history at London Fashion Week by becoming the first model to grace the runway whilst using a breast pump.
Valeria Garcia – who gave birth to her second child in June – debuted the pump beneath a suit at the Marta Jakubowski SS19 show.
The waiting list for the breast pump is now open and the nifty device will cost mothers £229 for a single pump or £429 for two.