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A Children’s Ministry Curriculum about Underwear. Really?

Taking a little detour into online marketing this morning… 

This ad popped up on my Facebook profile this morning. It kind of stopped me cold.

  • The title is clear: “For children’s ministers.
  • The picture is of little girls underwear…
  • Let that sink in. Strike you as odd?

I clicked on the ad, seeking to understand what girls underwear and children’s ministers had to do with Christmas.

It’s for a curriculum called, Socks and Underwear, by an unnamed publisher on a site I’ve never heard of. (My knowledge of kids ministry curriculum is really limited.) But I did see that it’s normally $100 but they will sell it to you for $45. I’m going to guess that a weird name like this isn’t helping sales. The curriculum itself looks cute, not something I’d use or recommend, but cute nonetheless. The general premise seems to be that we give/receive gifts at Christmas that we don’t want and Jesus is the gift we do want.

Just a little hint to those who like their jobs in kids ministry…. don’t do a series that advertises to you with little girls underwear. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but sexual molestation is just about the scariest thing a parent can imagine when it comes to leaving their kids at church. Not to sound alarmist or anything but a lot of people outside of the church are already suspicious of many church workers because of sexual abuse cases.

Just a little hint to the marketer creating ads… Um, no. Don’t feature little girls underwear in your ads, it’ll attract the wrong types of people.

And while jokes about underpants and stuff like that is totally in bounds for kids ministry– ads using little girls underwear on Facebook feels completely out-of-bounds to me.

Am I alone in this?

Follow-up

After emailing them I received this response:

Thanks for the heads up! We are sorry you were offended. Our FB marketer put a picture of adult underwear up since the title of the series’ is Socks and Underwear. We went ahead and took it down to be on the safe side. Thanks again for writing and letting us know.

My thought – I’m not trying to take the moral high ground here… but “We are sorry you were offended” and taking it down, blaming it on the Facebook marketer, is hardly admitting that it was misguided to begin with. But whatever, less underwear on Facebook is a good thing regardless.

 

15 Responses to A Children’s Ministry Curriculum about Underwear. Really?

  1. Julie Herrick September 26, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    I got that ad on my Facebook this morning too, and it kinda creeped me out. I’m with you.

  2. Rachel Blom September 26, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    That is creepy and completely wrong…can’t believe someone thought that would be appropriate!

  3. Jon McIver September 26, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Nope- not alone. I saw that one this morning too. Did a triple take. I get the reference, but agree that it isn’t the wisest marketing strategy.

  4. BrianFord September 26, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    No you’re not alone. This is just creepy!

  5. Mark September 26, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    I am by no means an underwear expert, but upon inspection of said photo, to me it looks like men’s underwear. Am i wrong?

    • Adam McLane September 26, 2012 at 8:09 am #

      Well, I’m a dad with a boy and a girl… I think the term is “granny panties.”

  6. Andrew Hedges September 26, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Totally agree

  7. Matthew McNutt September 26, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    I saw the ad after reading this, clicked the link and sent them a message letting them know youth workers were concerned about the way they’re advertising the curriculum. They sent me this response:

    “Thanks for the heads up Matthew! Our FB marketer put a picture of adult underwear up since the title of the series’ is Socks and Underwear. We went ahead and took it down to be on the safe side. Thanks again for writing and letting us know.”

  8. Beth Ryan September 26, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    I saw this too. Took it to our Children’s Director to show it to her… Bizarre.

  9. Duncan Wiesemann September 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    Adam, I totally agree. We were totally going for funny and goofy with the ad. We had no idea you would interpret the “granny panties”, as you described them, as “little girls underwear.” We took down the ads and now are only featuring ads with socks. This series’ is meant to be a creative look at the different gifts we receive at Christmas (the name because the last thing any of us wants to get is socks and underwear) and how they compare to Jesus, the true gift of Christmas. Here’s the link to the full description: http://www.childrens-ministry-deals.com If you leave a positive review, we will send you a free pair of socks and a pack of Fruit of the Loom underwear for Christmas.

  10. Katie W September 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    Um how about some awesome mismatched colorful socks as an ad? Thank you.

  11. Lindsey Whitney September 27, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    I just got an email from them this morning apologizing and explaining that the ad was in fact in bad taste. I’m with you — I thought the curriculum was a little edgy to begin with. Socks and toothpaste would be better. Underwear is just a little too personal for a curriculum if you ask me.

    Lindsey @ GrowingKidsMinistry.com

    • Adam McLane September 27, 2012 at 6:49 am #

      A few people forwarded me the email from them. I’m glad they admitted the ad was inappropriate, but I have to admit I’m smarting a little by the line that “There was even a blog post attacking our company.” I’d like to know if that was a reference to my blog and if so, in what way did this post attack their company? I clearly attacked their little girl toting ad, no bones about it, but I didn’t even know the name of their company and I said nice things about the concept of their curriculum.

      Look, I run 2 small businesses. I know you feel forced to take risks to draw attention sometimes and as a result mistakes can happen. I like that they admitted this was a mistake and apologized to their customers. But over and over again they’ve tried to spin it as if this wasn’t their fault that they had to apologize. I didn’t do the ad, I just pointed it out, but people like me who emailed them and apparently this blog “attacked them.” Actually, they attacked themselves.

      Whatever. Like I updated yesterday… at least there is one less ad featuring underwear on Facebook.

      • Lindsey Whitney September 27, 2012 at 11:16 am #

        I’m pretty sure it was your blog that they were referencing b/c I googled a few key words and you are the only blog that comes up. Good publicity for you, I guess!

  12. Aaron Giesler September 27, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    These look like old man whitey tighties… Not little girls underpants.

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