Pampers-loving parents may have noticed that their latest box of diapers was missing some famous muppet characters. The Sesame Street members have been the longtime mascots of the popular brand, but they're being quietly phased out.
Featured characters previously printed on the diapers included Elmo, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Cookie Monster. But why the change? Pampers has been pretty hush-hush about the whole thing but there are some conflicting stories going around. Apparently, some parents took offense to most of the Sesame Street monsters being boys, claiming that the diapers were too masculine. They seemed to feel there was a lack of gender equality on the diaper designs, causing the backlash.
This all happened even though Zoe and Abby (both female muppets) were also featured on some designs and half of all babies that wear Pampers diapers (in theory) must be boys. The New York Post covered this exclusive marketing change and they were just as surprised as we were here at BabyGaga.
They contacted Procter and Gamble (P&G), the company that produces Pampers, by email and received a generic response. P&G spokeswomen Laura Dressman wrote this in an email response to the Post inquiring about the design change: “We talk to thousands of parents every year to understand how our diapers are best meeting their babies’ needs and any new trends they might be interested in. We learned there was a growing desire from moms and dads for modern, fresh graphics.”
As you see, it isn't really a straight answer to the questions regarding the Sesame Street characters. The diapers now feature modern-looking images like cameras and gender-neutral animals and shapes. The diapers have also apparently been redesigned for better absorbency and movement.
The case of diaper designs most likely didn't occur to many, even those directly involved in gender equality organizations. Diapers are quite obviously used for waste and are thrown away. Do babies even care what is on them? Do most parents? Most likely not, but in social media, companies need to keep any controversies low and quiet for fear of a public relations scandal.
The Sesame Street muppets are much-loved characters from a long-running classic learning show. Elmo and the gang have taught generations of children to count, be kind, and inclusive. Now, we're getting rid of them for being male...or maybe the character partnership ran its course.
What are your thoughts on this? Will you miss Elmo on your diapers? Or do you even notice what your baby is pooping in? Let us know in the comments!