Too Racy for Times Square? An Ad for Lactation Cookies Is Replaced.

An ethereal-looking image of Molly Baz, the cookbook author, with her pregnant belly exposed and her breasts covered with not much more than a rhinestone bikini top and two oatmeal cookies, floated high above Times Square.

It was a digital billboard, measuring 45 feet tall, for Baz’s lactation cookies — a recipe to stimulate milk production that she developed in partnership with the breastfeeding start-up Swehl. The tag line read: “Just Add Milk.”

The ad was scheduled to be up for a week, from Monday through Mother’s Day, playing for the first minute of every hour. But three days later, on Thursday, it was pulled out of the sign’s rotation.

Brex, a company that helped Swehl get the ad up on a billboard powered by Clear Channel, was told by a Clear Channel representative that the ad violated “guidelines on acceptable content,” according to an email reviewed by The New York Times. Brex later clarified that the original artwork was “flagged for review” and that it was replaced with another image from the campaign. The new creative does not feature Ms. Baz’s breasts as prominently; she is perched on a kitchen counter top in jeans and a crop top, eating one of her cookies.

The billboard, however, is in a location that often runs underwear ads by brands like Skims and Michael Kors. It appeared to be another example of what some experts have said is a double standard that persists in the advertising world: a sexualized breast is acceptable, a nursing or lactating one is not.

The billboard for Ms. Baz’s lactation cookies recipe ran in an area of Times Square that has often been the site of advertisements for underwear.Credit…via Swehl
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