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December 16, 2020

Tropicana Juices Up Mommy Wine Culture in New Commercial & Sober Community goes Ballistic.


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Dear Tropicana,


Wow. Your new TV commercial directly targeting vulnerable, stressed out, anxious parents during the pandemic is epic. I hope that it sells a ton of orange juice so that you will responsibly donate the profits to Recovery Centers of America, actually “helping” the millions of parents who are struggling with alcohol right now.

Tropicana, you should be ashamed of yourself.

There is no harder job on earth right now than being a parent. You are right, we are at our wit’s end and desperate for some time to ourselves. However, to suggest that drinking a mimosa (champagne mixed with orange juice) is an ideal form of self-care right now is not only irresponsible, it is downright disgusting. Encouraging anguished parents to mix alcohol with Tropicana orange juice and “take a moment for yourself” maybe in the “closet, in the basement, or even the bathroom” is also dangerous—to say the very least.

For the past decade or more, unregulated, out of control alcohol marketing has sold us the contorted idea that we need alcohol to cope with life. Alcohol sales in this country have reached unprecedented levels during the pandemic. The truth is, liquor stores are essential and must stay open to continue to feed America’s addiction or all hell will break loose. Tropicana, you have perfectly aligned yourself with the problem, not the solution. Alcohol addiction is a public health crisis in this country right now.

Tropicana, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Will your single advertisement turn parents into alcoholics overnight? Of course not, but the suggestive messaging is the perfect breeding ground for the millions of Americans who have the propensity to become addicted to alcohol. Your new commercial pours gasoline on the Mommy Wine Culture fire.

The normalization of excessive drinking in the Mommy Wine Culture almost took me down—because oops…I became addicted. I was your target mom, Tropicana—sipping mimosas in her bedroom to escape the guilt, anxiety, and overwhelming stress of being a modern-day parent. Trying so hard to juggle a full-time career, a home, and family. I believed the twisted narrative that you are inadvertently promoting—that booze was my key to survival. Mommy’s little reward, right? I earned my “Mimoment,” right? This kind of over-marketed distorted groupthink helped me normalize and justify my high-functioning drinking. It fed my addiction to alcohol.

It’s not just a little mimosa we are talking about here, Tropicana. It’s bigger than that.

Somewhere along the line, we have forgotten that alcohol is one of the most highly addictive drugs on the face of the planet. This mind-altering legal substance is responsible for 2.8 million deaths annually worldwide and it is deadlier than all illicit drugs combined.

Over the last 20 years, the United States has seen a dramatic increase in alcohol use—and that surge is mainly among women. Big Alcohol, and now Tropicana, is specifically targeting their products to stressed-out moms (and dads) under the guise that drinking alcohol will make their struggles more manageable. The message, clearly, is to medicate our nerves, our anxiety, our depression, and turn to a bottle (or mimosa) for comfort. Period.

Tropicana, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Millions of children will get to see your Mommy Juice commercial. Did you stop for a minute to think about what kind of message you are sending to our kids? Mommy and Daddy need to drink alcohol to cope with being a parent right now? That they are the reason why we need to mix alcohol in our O.J.? How are we, as parents, supposed to explain that?

Tropicana, millions of children are in the throes of this pandemic, experiencing their parents drinking more heavily than ever before. Except their Mommy isn’t Molly Sims or Gabrielle Union—dressed to a T, smiling and giggling as they sip their Tropicana mimosas. Instead, they are witnessing, in real time, their own parents struggling with alcohol and it’s not pretty. They are living the dark side of “Mommy Juice” that no one likes to talk about because it’s not cute or funny or glamorous—it is devastating and heartbreaking.

Drinking alcohol is not self-care. The last thing parents need right now is to drink more alcohol. We need tons of positive encouragement, love, support, and rest when we can get it.

Tropicana, you have not “partnered with busy parents to help them.” No, Tropicana—you have partnered with America’s drug of choice to sell more orange juice.

Tropicana, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Megan, Proud Sober Mom


Update: Tropicana did the right thing and took this ad down after widespread criticism from sobriety activists and sobriety support networks as well as parents struggling with alcoholism. 


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