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Disney Reaches Into Maternity Wards

Doug Desjardins for HealthLeaders Media, February 16, 2011

But not everyone thinks the campaign is a good idea. National child advocacy group Children Now says the marketing effort may be crossing a boundary when it enters a hospital setting.

"The larger question is whether there are any safe spaces still available to children and a hospital should be considered a safe space," said Jeff McIntyre, director of national policy for Children Now. "People have to remember this is a medical setting and that having a child can be a cautious moment because not everything goes the way it should every time."

McIntyre said he understands the reasoning behind Disney's approach and that the trend in marketing is to target children at a younger and younger age. "But I think hospitals have to consider their ethical responsibility to patients."

To date, it's hard to tell how many hospitals Disney has visited, since the campaign is still just a few weeks old. The Winnie Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando contracts with Disney partner Our365 for portraits of newborns but isn't involved with Disney's campaign, at least not yet.

"It may be something we do in the future but we're not working with Disney right now or giving away products," said hospital spokesman Geo Morales.

Overall, the Disney campaign raises interesting issues. Marketing executives can point to the fact that mothers are receiving free apparel and services compliments of Disney, a trusted brand. But hospitals also have to look at the ethical issues raised by Children Now, which could take them into a gray area they may not want to enter.

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2 comments on "Disney Reaches Into Maternity Wards"


Grandma (2/18/2011 at 2:54 PM)
Disney's marketing effort moving in on hospitals from the time of birth is a disgusting ploy and I hope hospitals will continue to respect the privacy of its patients and keep corporati out of that setting. Soon enough the baby and mother will be bombarded by greedy corporate tactics, loud and disgusting television ads and other distasteful mongering. Leave our families alone at such a special time as birth.

Barb (2/17/2011 at 12:05 PM)
Hopefully, Disney is advocating for exclusively breastfeeding your baby and is a breastfeeding friendly company for its employees and visitors to its parks.