‘Inappropriate’ Photo of Pregnant Woman is Pulled From Times Square

A digital billboard in a cityscape features an advertisement with a pregnant woman holding two bagels over her chest. The text reads, "Just Add Milk with Molly Baz" and includes a website URL "sweetmilk.com/mollybaz." Surrounding the billboard are buildings and a Crown Plaza hotel.
The offending billboard displayed in Times Square. | Swehl

A billboard ad for a breastfeeding company showing a photograph of pregnant American cook Molly Baz holding two cookies to her breasts has been banned from Times Square for violating guidelines on “acceptable content.”

Swehl, the start-up behind the ad, shared a post by Baz in which she expresses her extreme disappointment but adds she is “not at all surprised that our cheeky little breastfeeding empowerment campaign was deemed ‘inappropriate’ by Clear Channel Outdoor”. That’s the company that controls most billboards in Times Square.

The New York Times reports that the ad was scheduled to be displayed for a week, playing for the first minute of every hour. But the ad was pulled three days into its stint and has now been replaced with another image from the campaign that does not prominently feature Baz’s breasts.

Baz was quick to point out the hypocrisy; sharing other billboard ads featuring photos of half-naked pop artist Sza in her underwear and a raunchy set of photos advertising Michael Kors underwear.

A pregnant woman in a white outfit holds two pastries over her chest. Above her, in white text, are the words "Just Add Milk" against a blue background.
Monroe Alvarez

“Take one look at the landscape of other billboards in Times Square and I think you’ll see the irony,” Baz writes on Instagram. “Bring on the lingerie so long as it satiates the male gaze.”

The photograph was taken by Monroe Alvarez, a portrait and lifestyle photographer who shot the offending photo on a giant blue screen on an outdoor set.

The product that the billboard was advertising is Baz’s Big Titty Cookies recipe which Swehl says simulates milk production.

The photo and the withdrawal have sparked debate online with not everyone agreeing with Baz.

“Which one is tasteless, the cookie or the photo?” Writes one Instagram user.

But another writes: “Incredible billboard that empowers mothers to feel secure utilizing their natural milk production! Somehow, that’s offensive, but showing less dressed women for the sake of selling clothes is just fine?”

Advertisements for women’s health have proven controversial with ads for period products not being allowed to feature red liquid until 2017.

Image credits: Photographs courtesy of Swehl.