A NotMom reader recently forwarded a marketing email she received promoting a service for women without children. In this instance, the culprit was SitterCity.com, as in baby sitter. Subject Line: “Sitter Recommendations from Moms Like You.” Frustrated, she coined a new term: “assumptive advertising.” You might call it lazy.
We’ve all been there. If you haven’t, just wait a minute.
The problem, I think, is that businesses blindly purchase mailing lists based on women in certain age groups and geographies. As often happens with advertisers, the idea that a handful of recipients will be miscast and angry about it is a deliberately considered risk. They figure, how many women without kids could there be, anyway?
Answer: One in 5, with more disposable income than most Moms. Not such a big problem for a business hawking babysitters, but it should be a huge concern to multi-product brands like Procter & Gamble, home of Bounty paper towels, Febreze, Nyquil and Tampax, not just Pampers and Dreft. P&G’s 2012 tagline, Proud Sponsor of Moms, ticked off some Dads, too.
My BlogHer co-panelist last summer received wild applause when she related how agents for a major sports drink told her bloggers without children were unwelcome at a promotional event. She asked them, “Do I have to have kids to be thirsty? Do my readers?”
In December, I met a NotMom who launched her own interior design business because classes and books on the subject were so focused on designing around children that she decided to specialize on households without them. Business is booming.
Surprise! NotMom frustration can be a mother — of invention.
In fact, writer Laura LaVoie reached out to join TheNotMom.com team after product after product, even a hand lotion, limited opportunities for freelance writers to Mommy-bloggers only. Moms who blog may not like that label, but Madison Avenue loves it. Let’s remind them there are other options.