December 18, 2006

A subway ad paradox

I saw these two advertisements side-by-side on the subway this weekend. They’re both part of the same “Take Care of Your Baby” public service campaign by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. I couldn’t take a good photo that showed both ads side-by-side, so I took this short video instead:

The one on the left says, “Don’t leave him alone anywhere.” Then, right next to it, there is another ad that says, “It’s safest for him to sleep alone.” Hmm.


I’m more amazed that the New York City Administration for Children’s Services needs to put signs up telling parents that it’s bad to leave their young child unattended (presumably sleeping alone in a car park, judging from the photo).

What’s next? “Don’t feed your baby sticks”?

Just ran across your blog and loved this post. This is very funny. You should submit this to - the website collects great user experience faux pas such as this.

Odd, but I dont recall anyone finding a car full of Budweiser or Johnny Walker ads, showing the product gushing by the gallon or promising to make everything more fun and everyone more beautiful - but then saying DRINK RESPONSIBLY - ironic….

I understand why it seems counterintuitive, but both ads are correct. One speaks to leaving a child unattended and unwatched—which I’m sure we can agree is something a parent shouldn’t do. The other deals with the phenomenon of people who sleep with their small children in the same bed, which, believe it or not, results in a considerable abount of infant deaths per year. The adult can roll over on to the child as they sleep and suffocate or seriously injure them. The repeated use of the word ‘alone’ is confusing, but also not inaccurate, given the context of each.

lol. It reminds me of a 2 add (side by side) billboard that I saw along the highway once:

1: An add for planned parenthood promoting abstinence/safe sex

2: An add for a bank that said “Don’t forget to have a little fun today!” in huge bold print.

To avoid confusing the kind of moms who get parenting advice from subway posters, they should have said, “Babies, don’t leave your home or car with out them!” Catchy and to the point, don’t you think?