Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day, wanted to honor her beloved mother who had passed away in 1905 and so worked tirelessly to establish the national holiday to honor all mothers for their love and sacrifice for their children. The first official Mother’s Day event was held in 1908 at the West Virginia church where Jarvis’ mother had served as a Sunday School teacher and was known for her faithful service. Anna Jarvis sent 500 white carnations for all who attended that initial commemoration to wear in honor of their own mothers and to signify the purity of a mother’s love.
The national observance of Mother’s Day quickly spread and the wearing of white carnations became a symbol of Mother’s Day for decades to come. Florists could not keep enough white carnations in stock for the holiday and so promoted the idea of wearing bright colored flowers to honor living mothers and white flowers for those who had passed away.
As florists, card makers, and confectioners quickly mass-marketed the holiday, Anna Jarvis was so disgusted with the commercialization of Mother’s Day that she actually tried to have the holiday rescinded. She was quoted as saying: “A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who’s done more for you than anyone in the world.”
One wonders, then, what Anna Jarvis would think of Kraft’s recent Mother’s Day ad campaign to “honor” mothers, entitled “Swear Like a Mother.” The commercial for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese features Melissa Mohr, a “real-life swearing expert” and author of a book about the history of swearing (the actual title of the book is too offensive to list here.) The advertisement for mac & cheese, the quintessential kid’s food, is filled with bleeped out words as the mother fails to keep from swearing in front of her children, even as she offers “alternative” profanities.
A press release from Kraft proudly promoting their “Swear Like a Mother” ad campaign states:
“Parents aren’t perfect… even moms. Moms mess up. Moms are human. And yes, Moms have potty mouths…. To help Mom make it right, this Mother’s Day, the Kraft Mac & Cheese brand is introducing a set of tools to help. The brand has created … alternative swear words moms can use around the little ones to prevent parenting fails. Additionally Kraft is launching Mother’s Day cards with Fail-Cancelling Earplugs to help shield your kids’ ears in those not-so-motherly moments. And for whatever the earplugs and substitute swears can’t block, there’s always Kraft Mac & Cheese. …”
Yes, Kraft offered a promotional gift of macaroni-shaped earplugs for kids to wear to shield them from their mother’s swearing. We’ve gone from children encouraged to wear white carnations to honor the purity of a mother’s love to kids encouraged to wear earplugs to be protected from their mother’s lewd language.
Kraft went on to make the unbelievable claim that - according to their own survey - 74 % of mothers admit to swearing in front of their kids. Really?? How convenient that a survey Kraft itself conducted comes up with such a dubious claim that just happens to align with their “Swear Like a Mother” ad campaign.
As One Million Moms reported, recently a major study and book, “Cursing in America,” showed that “less than 7% of Americans curse on the job and less that 12% curse in their leisure time” which makes Kraft’s claim even more unbelievable.
In our sinful nature we have a propensity to use profane language, but with the law of God written on our hearts we also know there is shame in doing so.
Ephesians 5 shows us how seriously the importance of guarding our language is to God. Immediately after the warning against sexual immorality in verse 3 is this command in verse 4: “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”
Kraft (now joined with Heinz as The Kraft Heinz Company) was once a symbol of wholesomeness. Their website claims the company “provides high quality and great taste” in their products. However, “quality” and “taste” obviously aren’t applied to their advertisements.
If children imitate the crude “Swear Like a Mother” ad, many moms might be reaching for the proverbial bar of soap rather than mac & cheese. Kraft may think it’s a great sales gimmick to depict mothers as potty-mouth vulgarians, but millions of moms who do their family’s grocery shopping might very well be offended by this portrayal. Perhaps Kraft should remember who it is that butters their bread.
Click here to let Kraft know how disappointed you are that a once family-oriented brand has stooped to such tasteless vulgarity.
Kraft Heinz Company
Bernardo Hees - CEO
200 E Randolph St
Chicago IL 60601-7012
Phone #: 800-323-0768
Lynne Galia - Head of Communications
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