People Are Furious About Tropicana's New Orange Juice Ad. Here's Why

While the whole "wine mom" shtick may come across as silly, there's a dark truth underlying it: as Healthline points out, "mommy juice" culture is normalizing an addiction that is growing at a shocking pace. A 2017 study showed that the rate of at-risk drinking among women had increased by nearly 60 percent over the past decade, and it doesn't appear as if things have slowed down since then. In fact, the pandemic seemed to see more of us than ever, women as well as men, drinking more often and earlier in the day than before.

Somehow a major manufacturer decided that a growing social problem would make a cute ad campaign. Tropicana, perhaps looking to shed its product's innocuous reputation, took a page out of Miley Cyrus's book when she ditched Hannah Montana. When good juices go wrong, instead of twerking, it seems they team up with booze and troll moms into hiding from their kids to drink on the sly. Seriously, Tropicana's latest ad campaign actually featured celebrity parents whom they gifted with mini-fridges cleverly disguised to look like laundry hampers, tool boxes, and other objects of no interest to children. These fridges were stocked not only with OJ but also sparkling wine so that Molly Sims, Gabrielle Union, and Jerry O'Connell (the token Wine Dad) could sneak off and "#TakeAMimoment" to knock back a mimosa. Hey, you might be literally drinking in your closet, but at least you're... umm, getting some healthy calcium from the orange juice.

Social media soon pointed out Tropicana's mistake

Tropicana's campaign got people's attention, all right, but probably not in the way they'd been hoping for. Sobriety advocates were particularly concerned with the message that was being sent in the ads. As Martha Duke, spokesperson for support network Recovering Out Loud, told Page Six, "The two biggest red flags someone has an alcohol problem is hiding the consumption from others, and relying on alcohol to get through the day."

People were talking about Tropicana's misstep on Twitter, too. One user pointed out that "Mommy wine culture is a lie and it's killing us. You don't need to #TakeAMimoment. You just need to try new ways to manage stress + overwhelm," while another tweeted, "Women lying to their families, sneaking off to consume alcohol hidden in secret compartments. Slamming a mimosa in the laundry room isn't cute and it's not 'treating yourself.' That's 1950s 'mother's little helper' bull****." On Instagram, the #takeamimoment hashtag was used for a grassroots anti-Tropicana protest. Numerous users joined in posting their own objections to the ad campaign. One such message read: "Dear Tropicana and Gabrielle Union, We can get through the day, the holidays, AND parenting...SOBER. Sincerely, the people who know that sneaking off to drink alcohol isn't normal."

Tropicana eventually apologized after some serious clapback

While there was a certain amount of opposition, with people decrying "cancel culture" and characterizing those objecting to the Tropicana campaign as a bunch of Carrie Nation Karens, this was strongly reminiscent of how people used to complain when they found out it was no longer acceptable to tell racist jokes or laugh about spousal abuse. What's more, teetotalers weren't the only ones who found Tropicana's campaign offensive. As one Instagram comment put it, "I def enjoy my Prosecco but it's not to escape my kids and I def don't hide it. When did promoting alcoholism become cool?" while another admitted: "Even as a not sober human I was so uncomfortable seeing that campaign."

To give Tropicana credit, they were quick to pull the ads and issue an apology on Instagram once they realized how offensive their ad was. One part of their apology, however, struck the wrong chord: "we hear the feedback that for some we've missed the mark." As one commenter pointed out, "You didn't just miss the mark for 'some,'" seeing as how not only are there an estimated 14+ million Americans with diagnosed Alcohol Use Disorder, but there are also those people's families, children, friends, coworkers, drivers unlucky enough to be sharing the road... Still, the apology/retraction is at least a step in the right direction toward reversing the damage that wine mom marketing is doing.