A new Medibank ad is being criticised for “mum-shaming”.

The ad, which has aired on free-to-air TV, shows a mum in exercise clothing leaving the house while her daughter provides a voiceover.

“Thanks mum, thanks for walking out,” the girl says.

“For coming home late for like, the second time this week.”

Throughout the ad, the father is seen alone with the kids while the mum comes and goes.

“That’s it, focus on yourself,” the little girl continues. “Just look at what you’ve done to us.”

The ad finishes with the mother and daughter lying together on a trampoline, with Medibank’s voiceover encouraging people to care for themselves as “it impacts everyone around you” in a positive manner.

A comment from one mum on their Facebook page reads, “This commercial is disgraceful. It is well known that Mum’s all over the country carry guilt about trying juggle a family, a spouse, a career, a home, a social life, a fitness routine etc etc. Your commercial has missed the mark with its sombre music and depressing voice over. You’re not inspiring me to take care of myself, you just magnified my guilt for wanting to!”

Medibank responded saying, ” By no means is our intention to make people feel guilty, especially all of the amazing, hard-working parents around Australia. We want to support all Mums and Dads to look after themselves!

“We know that self-care can sometimes feel selfish and we’re trying to challenge that stigma by showing the amazing knock-on effect that caring for yourself has on those around you.”

Twitter has also exploded with people sharing their disgust at the ad.

In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, Medibank chief customer officer David Koczar said the ad “aims to challenge the notion that it’s selfish to take time out to look after yourself”.

“We’re sorry if people have taken our new ad to mean something other than what is intended,” Mr Koczar said.

“We want to inspire all Australians to make positive, healthy changes not only for themselves, but for those closest to them, and our Live Better campaign aims to challenge the notion that it’s selfish to take time out to look after yourself.”

He added mums “often feel guilty” for taking time away from family to do something for themselves and the ad “is not designed” to shame them.

“Rather it aims to highlight the benefits that come from a parent taking time for themselves to exercise and the positive impact that has on the rest of the family,” he said.

“The campaign tag line, ‘When you live better, we’re all better for it’ speaks to the positive impact that caring for yourself has on everyone around you.”

Recently we shared that the Heart Foundation was forced to CANCEL their latest Campaign Following Backlash. read more here. 

Do you think the ad shares the wrong message?

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  • The message they are trying to send is a good message but the method and what actually comes across is wrong.


  • It most definitely is sharing the wrong message. They need to pull this ad as it does nothing for progressing women, especially in the workplace


  • It was a confusing ad, but pretty sure it was supposed to be a nice one to mums who do it all?

    Either way. Women are becoming such victims and taking things too personal!


  • I haven’t seen the ad but yes, by the sound of it it does send a wrong message.


  • The way I see this ad is that yes it looks like mum is doing her own thing and leaving the others behind. The message may come across the wrong way for some. If mums do not look after themselves then who will take care of them. It is not like she is going having fun at a party or something like that but looking after herself she can look after the others.


  • Why does this type of shaming keep happening.


  • Wow this is just awful. There are already so many things that we feel awful about day to day, to have this campaign out there again making us feel like we are doing a crappy job is just too sad!


  • I haven’t seen it. But I’ve never seen a private health insurance ad yet that can catch my attention at all.


  • A convoluted way to get their message across, which on first watch sounds negative.


  • I’ve seen this ad before I have an actually taken that much notice but I will


  • The advert did make me watch closely several times before I got their message. I think it is about taking care of yourself but it does make it look bad as well. A bit confusing advertising.


  • I haven’t seen the advertisement before. I wish the titles on this site weren’t so misleading sometimes. If you just read the wrong words ( thanks for leaving us and coming home late etc) I can understand where a few people are coming from.
    Mums need breaks sometimes to sustain their health and wellbeing. If they get sick who i going to care for her family or her. Some young children may see the advertisement and not understand the true meaning of it. Maybe it could be aired after child viewing times when more parents are likely to be watching TV


  • I don’t take it as negative at all. I don’t understand why people are seeing an issue with this ad. The mum looking after herself is encouraging the dad and kids to be active.


  • May it should end with look what you DO for us or what you have FOR us. It really can be taken two ways. Even better yet the girl could say “we are happy you are taking time to look after yourself, after everything you do for us!”
    But let’s not forget the role is reversed in many family situations also.


  • I’ve seen this add and the way it comes across to me is a genuine ‘thanks mum’ not a sarcastic, having a dig at Mum ‘thanks’


  • Yep it’s kind of putting thoughts in a kid’s mind when they will see this ad. Nope, not positive at all.


  • It’s a strange message indeed. It talks about how caring for yourself affects positively the environment you live in, but the girl thoughts say something else. You can read sadness and disappointment in that. Not a positive message for sure.


  • It’s a ridiculous advertisement but in a way its served its purpose its viral.


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