Feb. 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM ET
Moms aren't too pleased about a new ad targeting tweens – one that puts undue pressure on dads' credit cards.
Shoe company Skechers' latest tween collection is called "Daddy's Money" and the marketing campaign for the sneaker wedges boasts the tagline: "Get spoiled with Daddy's money, ultra cool shoes that will put you in the spotlight with a dose of swag and a 2-inch hidden wedge."
The $65 footwear, featuring a "Daddy's Money" logo at the heel, have been called everything from "distasteful" to "ugly" to "all kinds of wrong."
"[This ad] supports this notion that a girl's job is to manipulate her father, a father's job to do his daughter's bidding," wrote Jeanne Sager of The Stir.
"This is NOT how we teach girls and young women to get what they want," chimed in Lydia B. of Rants from Mommyland. "It's so bad that if it were a Saturday Night Live sketch — it would be hilarious. But it's not. It's real."
In response, Skechers says the new collection's name is not meant to be taken seriously. "The Daddy’s Money name and the collection’s advertising are designed to be fun and lighthearted, and we regret that some people have been offended by the name," the company said in a statement released Thursday.
Aside from the controversial marketing strategy, sneaker wedges have also recently come under fire for their potential health hazards. The shoes contain a hidden heel, which make them look them just like a regular sneaker, but the extra lift is not recommended for growing bodies.
"There is an added risk for girls who are wearing these shoes and have not yet achieved skeletal maturity," Dr. A. Gabriel Schifman, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist in Dallas, told TODAY.com. "By raising the heel, stress is put on the forefoot, which can alter the shape of the bones and the way they grow. It can also shorten the Achilles tendon, which can cause problems down the road in terms of pain and the child's gait."
Not to mention, some parents are concerned with the message high-heeled sneakers send to their tween daughters, with many believing it pressures them to look thinner or sexier before it's age-appropriate.
"Why do girls even need a 2-inch wedge? Are we teaching them that they need to be taller? So that what — they appear to be thinner?" asked Sager. "Because whatever their size or height or body type, it's wrong."
What do you think of the controversial marketing campaign?
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