It's a bit scary to see just how invasive marketing companies can get. One time while I was on the road with a friend of mine and we were winding down after a long day of work and having some drinks, we got into a discussion on Uncle Fester from The Addams Family, cracking up at the fact that he's immortal: dude's survived tons of attempted murders in Values and he came out unscathed from everyone.
We didn't text this conversation. We didn't search up Uncle Fester scenes on our phones, we simply spoke about Fester and cracked up laughing, had a few more beers, and then went to bed.
The next day when I woke up and was scrolling through my Instagram feed, guess what I saw an ad for? Fester's Quest t-shirts.
We're living in a day and age where data-tracking and gathering is big, big business. Heck, the world's most popular social media application, TikTok, must comply with data sharing policies enforced by the Chinese Government and is actively accessing personal user data of US Citizens from overseas servers.
While tracking people's information through smartphones seems doable, how did Enfamil get a box of formula out to a woman who purchased a pregnancy test?
That's what happened to a Twitter user by the name of Nicole who posts under the handle @melancholynsex who visited a Walgreens location to purchase a pregnancy test.
She says that about a week after purchasing the test, she received a box in the mail and in it were a few tubs of Enfamil baby formula along with a bottle for newborns, which was pretty perplexing to say the least: she didn't sign up for any promotions or give out her personal details to an Enfamil representative or an employee at the specific Walgreens location.
What she did do, however, was swipe her Walgreens card which probably contained her personal details and information on it. This info was probably culled from the location and then handed off to Enfamil, who then saw that they might have a prospective mama on their hands and want their formula to be the first one she sees.
Despite the creepy logistics of how Enfamil was able to send formula to Nicole, the Twitter user pointed out a few problems with their approach. The first being that she doesn't have Fallopian tubes but was asked by her doctor to take the test regardless.
She also pointed out just how messed up it was for Enfamil to be sending out formula to people in the off chance that they might become moms and potentially new customers when they were in the midst of a formula shortage and mothers who needed to provide food for their actual living babies could actually benefit from the free tubs they're giving away.
She also highlighted how insensitive the box might be to women who are trying to get pregnant but can't and even referenced the recent Roe v Wade overturning as a potential incentive for Enfamil to start ramping up formula production.
She also mentioned the dire consequences of a teen girl or someone in an abusive relationship who is sent this package, in their name. What becomes of them if their parents or partner gets violent, thinking that they've gotten pregnant on the DL?
Nicole said that she ultimately reached out to her neighborhood community and found someone who could benefit from the formula, but thought that Enfamil sending out the gift was wrong on multiple levels.
What do you think? Are you creeped out at the fact that a company was able to gather someone's personal data, and then send them a bunch of baby formula based on the chance that they might be pregnant, without consideration for recent political developments regarding women's reproductive rights, or a national formula shortage that is affecting tons of different Mamas?
Or do you think this is just a case of someone reading into a company's "creative marketing strategies" too deeply?