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Tropicana apologizes for suggesting mimosas are the answer to pandemic parenting

Some people loved the ad while others said it encourages using alcohol to cope with stress and drinking in secret.
/ Source: TODAY

Tropicana orange juice is under fire after a cheeky ad campaign that suggested parents stash the ingredients for a mimosa in fridges around the house to take a break. The ad was found to be offensive by many social media users, including a sobriety group.

The new ad campaign, which has since been shut down, was targeted at stressed out parents who've been home with their kids throughout the quarantine and asked them to #TakeAMimoment for themselves. But some commenters on Twitter were offended, pointing out that the idea of drinking in secret from your family is probably not the healthiest way to cope with the stress of the pandemic.

"Parents, you’re juggling it all!" read the tweet from Tropicana posted December 9. "Find the ultimate moment of brightness for yourself — wherever and whenever — with a Tropicana mimosa, of course! #TakeAMimoment to help make your mornings a little brighter."

The ad campaign, from MullenLowe PR and Cramer-Krasselt, also asked parents to share stories of how they take a breaks. Celebrities like Molly Sims, Gabrielle Union and Jerry O’Connell were slated to participate on social media.

In the ad, mini fridges are hidden in the closet, the garage and even in the bathroom, filled with the ingredients for brunch's favorite beverage (that's one part sparkling wine, one part OJ).

A firestorm of negative comments ensued, calling the brand out on what some felt was a tasteless way to encourage juice-drinking.

"Slamming a mimosa in the laundry room isn’t cute and it’s not 'treating yourself,'" tweeted one commenter.

"#TakeAMimoment represents everything that is wrong with alcohol in this country," tweeted another person.

TODAY Food reached out to Tropicana for a quote and was referred to their public statement posted Tuesday on Facebook and said they had nothing further to add at this time. The same statement was also posted on Twitter.

"We want to apologize to anyone who is disappointed in or offended by our recent campaign," reads the statement. "The intent behind it was in no way meant to imply that alcohol is the answer or make light of the struggles of addiction. While we believed we were bringing the #TakeAMimoment program to life in the right way -- through a message of positivity and balance mixed with a bit of levity -- we hear the feedback that for some we've missed the mark. Accordingly, we're ceasing any further activity in support of the campaign. We value the comments and perspectives that have been shared and will use it as a lens for evaluating future campaigns."

It appeared that the apology wasn't accepted by some groups. Klen&Sobr, a recovery pod organization, tweeted an expletive-filled response on Tuesday. "Suggesting parents hide from their families to drink is disgusting, irresponsible," they tweeted.

"FWIW, the campaign didn’t “imply” alcohol was the answer… it was *explicit* in demonstrating that hiding from one’s family — including leaving young children unsupervised — to drink alone was the answer. I’m gonna need to #TakeAMimoment to process your weak apology."

Not all reactions to the ad were negative, though.

"As a mom who likes a special mimosa, AND who still has to sneak away from TEENS to have a hot bath alone....I will be buying more Tropicana!" tweeted one commenter. "My little brother is a recovered alcoholic & would think the campaign is cute."

"#CancelCulture strikes again," tweeted another person who liked the ad. "I’m a grown up and can drink responsibly."

For now, parents will take their juice straight, and only at the breakfast table.