Won’t someone please think of the children?
Promotional material used by Mother Labs Inc. generated attention on Twitter this week, mostly because it features a somewhat sinister-looking child who might have just stepped out of The Omen or Omen II: Damien (and is probably hiding in your basement right now).
The ad, on display at the company’s booth at the Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo in Vancouver last week, had a few concerned denizens of the Twitterverse questioning the wisdom of using children in promotional materials.
“Can someone please explain the thought process here?” one post noted. “This looks more like a teaser for a remake of the Omen. (also… you can’t market to children, but you can use photos of them?)”
But Brian Bain, the CEO and founder of Mother Labs, told The GrowthOp that the imagery is in no way an attempt to advertise to children, explaining the company only ships its wares to licenced businesses. “We do not sell to the general public,” Bain said.
“Anyone that buys our living cannabis material has a cultivation or processing licence. We are in no way depicting a person, marketing to children — this is obscene — or attempting to shed light on cannabis as a positive substance,” he added.
Bain said the imagery was meant to invoke the essence of motherhood, a theme central to the company’s beliefs. “Mother is the very essence of what we do,” he said.
At the core of the brand, “mother” represents the elements of care that extend to all sectors of the business: social responsibility, community, connection to the earth and family.
“Mother is a key concept within cannabis cultivation as it is the name of the adult plant that contains the unique DNA that will be harnessed and reproduced in subsequent plants,” Bain said.
Although cannabis is legal for recreational and medicinal use in Canada, most forms of advertising are not. Cannabis companies are forbidden from advertising in print or broadcast commercials and can’t use celebrity endorsements or contests to plug their products in an effort to avoid the influencing young minds.
One of the federal government’s stated reasons for legalizing recreational cannabis was to keep it out of the hands of minors or reduce its use by them, by confining sale of pot to licensed, regulated sources.
Recreational cannabis industry players have promoted their brands by sponsoring or organizing events, through trade shows and placing their logos on swag. They’ve also used technology like augmented reality viewed through smart phones.
Written by David Yasvinski