A seemingly anodyne Mother’s Day commercial from Southern supermarket chain Publix set the Twittersphere aflutter when Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin deemed the spot a “beautiful” pro-life statement.
The ad shows an expecting mother and her young daughter preparing pinwheel sandwiches while discussing the arrival of the girl’s future sister. When the baby starts kicking, the girl clutches her mother’s protruding stomach and asks whether the baby can hear her.
Malkin appears to believe this invokes the question central to the abortion debate: “When does human life begin?”
Right-wing blog Newsbusters also praised the spot, saying it “celebrates pregnancy” and confirms “how much pro-abortionist feminists are throwing away by their “choice.” Life News, a pro-life website, offered that the “commercial affirms the dignity of unborn babies,” citing a Mayo Clinic factoid that, “babies begin to hear and respond to sound around week 18 of pregnancy.”
The reaction to the Mother’s Day commercial, produced by ad agency, 22Squared, caught executives at Publix completely by surprise. As a representative of the company said: “The commercial is meant to celebrate moms across our operating areas and to celebrate life’s most memorable occasions with Publix and food. The commercial was not intended to send any type of subliminal messaging.” The commercial was aired on Mother’s Day 2012 without causing controversy.
This isn’t the first time that Publix accidentally provoked an inordinate response from the Conservative commentariat. In January, 2011, the store published its annual free calendar which listed the Islamic New Year but made no mention of Pearl Harbor Day, which falls on the same date. The store promptly withdrew its calendar.
A Publix spokesperson confirmed that the Mother’s Day spot will air this week as planned.
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