Note To Advertisers: Babies Are Not Props. Do You Really Need To Have That Explained To You?

Let’s take a little break from the Ferguson Ethics Train Wreck, picking up passengers so fast that I can’t keep up with the manifest, and let Bill Cosby hide for a while, as suddenly all sorts of associates and colleagues are finally admitting that he wasn’t such a nice guy even when he wasn’t raping actresses, and focus on some child abuse—but funny child abuse!

Here’s a recent Halos recent commercial:

Wrong. This is an extreme example, but I frequently see infants being used—that’s the clue, “being used”—in TV shows, ads and movies featuring environments and  conditions that have to be stressful. Making babies cry to sell products or tell a story is unethical: they haven’t consented, they are helpless, and doing this to them is an abuse of power. It is also cruel.

How could a set full of techs and actors not feature any faint ringing of a single ethics alarm while a baby was duct taped to the back of a door? One disturbing sidebar to this “funny video”: some idiots have actually done this:

Go ahead, Halos, give those happy child abusers out there some new ideas.

This one was flagged by child actor advocate, and my friend, Paul Petersen, who has taken action to make sure Halo doesn’t engage in this kind of abuse again.

Babies aren’t props. They are human beings, This shouldn’t have to be taught to any adult, but it obviously does.

22 thoughts on “Note To Advertisers: Babies Are Not Props. Do You Really Need To Have That Explained To You?

  1. There are ways they could have staged this without actually duct-taping the baby to the door, but even if that part of it was faked, the poor tyke certainly didn’t look happy. And what the heck does duct-taping a baby to a door have to do with selling oranges anyway? Granted, I was watching the commercial with the sound off, so maybe I missed a crucial line of dialogue that would have made it suddenly make sense, but I can’t even begin to imagine what that could be.

  2. There’s been a lot of talk about this in certain circles, including associations of former and present stage moms. I don’t take it quite as hard as most of them do. Still, it was both foolish and unfunny. The director (assuming he’s a basically decent guy) should have known better to do this to a child, regardless of safety precautions. He should also have realized how many would react to it, particularly those who understand the business and know how abuses- however unintentional- can spawn more and worse. I checked out the company and the ad agency for a correspondent when it was brought to my attention a few days ago… via Paul Petersen. The company that sells Halos was once associated with the Cuties producing company. Having just parted ways, the Halos people are under pressure to distinguish their brand from the older one. They thought some clever, humorous ads would help. They should have stopped and thought it over a little longer.

  3. I just saw the hideous duct tape TV ad and thought enough complaints would’ve ended it. What a surprise to see this tonight while watching Tiny House show. It is a “sick” commercial.

    • Brilliant analysis! I guess that settles it. And that means…what, that all messages, words and images on commercials are per se acceptibale and immune from criticism as long as the sell something? Genocide, child abuse, misogyny, bigotry..because it’s a commercial?

      I have sympathy for rock-brained idiots, I really do. Those who advertise the malady, no.

      Go eat a sock.

          • I remember all too well dealing with a certain instance of child pornography in an American movie. What were the prominent excuses from the professional pundits and actors? “It’s only a movie” nearly topped the list. Only… Hell. People see these things, as they are intended to. Perverts become motivated and children come to accept this as normal. Both factors lead to tragedy.

  4. You are promoting violence and child abuse. Anything to make a profit! This society is shameless!! Any one that has respect for children, the future of the world and morals should not contribute to this madness. Boycott these product!! Each and every commercial promotes violence. Who is this deranged individual that is writing this material? Come on people, don’t buy into this madness!

  5. I contacted Halos when this commercial aired a year ago. The fact that it is still on the air speaks volumes about the lack of compassion this company has for the weak and vulnerable. They obviously think it’s funny which is so disturbing.

  6. This ad isn’t funny at all. What is funny about a defenseless baby being restrained and taped to a door? Disgusting commercial, I am not surprised at all to see so many other people that have a problem with it. A daycare worker got fired for doing this too. Not cool.

  7. I must say I thought the ad was tasteful. The concept of a “Halo” is for angels and the little girl tapes her brother to the door, clean fun. People who have a serious overthinking problem are in fact, a problem. There’s violence in TV, sexual content, drug abuse, and other items that some people will be offended by. If you don’t like the commercial, don’t watch the commercial or buy Halos oranges. You expect a company to pull a commercial and make a statement for using comedy? I’m sure you believe in what you’re saying, but I don’t think you have the capacity to realize to determine the difference between comedy (intended or not) and real life. If you can’t determine the difference, get rid of your TV because you really don’t want to see Murder She Wrote (Here’s a hint, Angela’s the killer) . I’ll never read this thread again, but just wanted to point out that I’m sure anyone that doesn’t overthink the world would believe you have a serious problem if you took the commercial serious. Good Day.

    • Not the point. Many things are wrong to use as topics for marketing. Spousal abuse, torture, racism, animal cruelty…and abusing infants. The issue isn’t whether it’s real. The issue is that the objectivly harmful conduct toward the helpless is not to be trivialized for mass consumption. You just spun a bunch of rationalizations and cliches. Hey, if you don’t like child porn, don’t watch it.

  8. Halo commercials are the sickest things I have ever seen. I cannot believe how sadistic they are. I wouldn’t take them if someone offered them to me for free! This company needs to rethink it’s values especially it’s portrayal of children!

  9. I absolutely hate all of the halo commercials and refuse to buy their product because of the way they
    advertise. The worst one, and I find it hard to believe that it continues to air is where the infant is duct taped to a kitchen door! It is disturbing on so many levels and I will never, I mean never purchase anything from this company. The parents of that little one doesn’t deserve him. It is just sad, very sad that a baby has to be subjected to this kind of treatment to sell fruit. Even if they pull it, they have lost me as a customer!

  10. I think your commercials are showing children to be violent and to do terrible things to get their way. It makes the parent look foolish. Maybe the child should be rewarded with the fruit not be the monster you portray them to be. It’s just an orange! I will not buy your product for my grandchildren.

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