Target: Clive Nelson, Chief Executive of New Zealand Health Sponsorship Council
Goal: Re-edit rugby player Piri Weepu’s anti-smoking campaign to show the scenes of him bottle-feeding his baby.
New Zealand rugby player Piri Weepu participated in a New Zealand anti-smoking campaign, which included shots of him feeding his six-month-old baby with a bottle. The shot was cut from the ad because of pressure from the La Leche League, which states that it does not mesh with their core message: that breastfeeding is best for children.
Weepu’s intention was only to tell his fans that he chooses not to smoke because of his children. Regardless of anyone’s stance on breastfeeding, the ad was not championing one method over the other, nor did it have anything to do with a baby’s nutrition and a parent’s choice. If a father feeds his baby, even if the baby is solely breastfed, the milk still has to be pumped by the mother and fed from a bottle.
This father was only doing what any father should want to do: help raise and feed his child. It should not matter what kind of milk was in the bottle, and the New Zealand government should not have chosen to edit the ad to please a specific group. Weepu has said that the controversy has been hard on him, because he was only trying to do what’s right and be a dad for his children.
Sign the petition below and ask the New Zealand government to bring back the image of Piri Weepu feeding his baby. By airing the edited ad, they are spreading the message that fathers have no right to feed their babies, and they are taking the spotlight away from the core message of the ad: that smoking is unhealthy for children and adults alike.
Dear Clive Nelson,
Rugby player Piri Weepu was trying to show his fans why he chooses to never smoke: his children. His spot in the anti-smoking ad showed shots of him playing with his children, holding them, and even feeding them. However, the ad has been edited because the La Leche League has declared that showing a father feeding a baby the only way a father can promotes the message that bottle-feeding is better.
The ad was not even trying to air a message on bottle-feeding versus breast-feeding, and was only trying to show one father’s reasons for not smoking. Now you have caved into pressure and removed the shots. By doing so, you are showing young fathers that they have no business feeding their own child, even if their child is solely breastfed, a message which can have terrible consequences.
Please bring back the images of Piri Weepu feeding his child. He only wanted to spread the message of anti-smoking, and by inciting controversy, you have taken the spotlight off his message, which was never anyone’s intention.
[Your Name Here]