I just read an article that shocked me, saddened me, and made me laugh all within three minutes of reading it. Written by Brian Braker, “The Next Great American Consumer,” notes how corporate America is becoming even more aggressive in its attempts to hijack our youths’ minds at earlier ages in an effort to convert the innocent and amass dollars.

Ironically, being in the children’s branding industry, myself, I was a bit torn at first read. Truth be told, like any other industry trying to survive today, coping with a shrinking economy and increased competition spells increased stress combined with new and unusual ways to claim and keep territory….which translates for some into just plain CRAZY! In this case, CRAZY “doubled” as the photographer who took this new mother’s photo is just as crazy for doing so as is Disney for giving the directive, if indeed they did to the extent this photographer took it, which I highly doubt.

Common sense says, you never jump in the face of a mother who just gave birth, whether you are waving the Disney flag or an American one. That’s just bad judgement and certainly not conducive to winning over friends or future consumers. I’d be surprised if Disney even knew this photographer was taking the directions handed to him so far. Like every company, we know they have their good and bad points, but assaulting young mothers in transit, from birthing room to hospital suite, doesn’t seem to be their style if you ask me.

Being a mom raising five kids of my own, what continues to baffle me is how amazed people are that kids are engaged with technology at younger and younger ages and that parents are using it to babysit their kids. Doesn’t anyone food shop anymore? The three most common elements you will see in any infant car seat strapped to a grocery cart is a baby, a set of car keys, and a cell phone. The moment an infant can focus his or her eyes, the phone becomes a central figure in his or her life. And that’s our doing as parents, not theirs or even Disney’s. We choose to do that because it is easier. Just as it was stated by one blogger in Brian’s article, “We can always say NO!” In this, I must agree.

However, I have to say that the young mother leaving the birthing room with her infant in her arms only to meet the lunatic photographer standing in her path during one of the most sensitive moments in a her life had no choice in the matter nor, the strength, I can only assume, to cope with his distressing behavior in a manner more befitting the circumstances. This is where rational individuals tending to the mother at that particular point in time should step in and draw the line in her defense. Even an innocent bystander might consider jumping in and saying something. Heck, put yourself in this mom’s place then think of what you would do.

As I wrote in a prior blog, in a declining economy, what never should be allowed to decline are values and morals. We have to continue to treat each other as “Human Beings” in the worst of times just as we do in the best. While everyone is so concerned about what children are watching on television or to that same end on computers or cell phones, why is it that we remain less concerned about the behavior we display in front of them as in the case of this photographer. He did not seem concerned as to the impact he was having on this mom and baby’s life and yet, in my opinion, his behavior is much more detrimental than what happens to a two year old when he or she is watching Playhouse Disney!

In the case of this poor young mother, I’d tell the hospital administrator what had occurred and let that person handle it. This is not a “branding, technology, corporate America gone wild” issue per say. It’s an ethics one, easily handled by a stern authority also doing his or her job.

Email me your thoughts. I’d love to hear them!

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