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MrsB reports back on Pampers junket(18 Posts)
Well, the venue was very plush - Kent House in Knightsbridge, which I recognised from a friend's wedding photos as it's also the home of Westminster Synagogue.
Recption on the ground floor encouraged us to leave pushchairs etc there before proceeding up the stairs to the 'salon'.
As I arrived, Pampers staff were setting up a baby changing station in a side room as the only facilities at the venue were in the basement.
I grabbed a cup of coffee and a chocolate before unslinging ds (6m) and making tracks for the 'playzone' - three sofas surrounding one of those lock-together foam mats.
By the time everyone had arrived there must have been twenty mothers and thirty children, and laid out were the Fisher-Price garage, the cookie-jar shape sorter, the 'Say Please' teaset and a few rattley baby things.
DS had a good old wriggle and watched the chaos more active toddlers.
After a bit of this 'free play' one of the Pampers staff called a list of names who were to go to the 'product demo' and a further list whose turn it was in the 'art installation' playroom.
I was a demo-watcher and made a nuisance of myself asking questions of Gillian, the (lovely) product specialist while she did her bit pouring green water onto polyacrylate crystals etc, to the extent that other MNers knew immediately it was me .
Eventually the hovering P&G staffer dragged me away to the playroom and Gillian promised she'd be available after she'd finished the demos.
DS adored the light installation, which combined a camera with a projector to produce what was in essence a motion-sensitive light show on a soft white floormat. KInd of like the C21st version of the dancefloor from Pulp's Disco 2000...
By this time it was nearly noon so we congregated back in the salon for lunch. DS was in desperate need of a nap but is currently utterly entranced by food so, in true blw style, he managed a strip of tortilla, some pear, a mouthful of chicken satay and a big chunk of beef before nodding off.
The buffet was nice but not exactly baby-friendly, being heavy on the smoked salmon / pesto / parmesan / 12" skewers etc, so eventually one of the Pampers staff (who were nothing if not solicitous) made a mercy dash and returned with Babybels, ham, cucumber and Petit Filous.
Meanwhile I had been joined by several other MNers inc SGK, LisaD123 and AllstarPrincess, and also by Gillian the product developer, who confessed that her husband had been on MN the night before, having googled 'how to sew on brownie badges' and found what I suspect was this thread, which apparently a) answered all his questions and b) amused him immensely.
This was, of course, an ideal opportunity to grill someone from Pampers about all the issues raised on MN, which I duly did .
We were also joined by CarrieMumsnet, who expressed surprise at seeing ds tucking into a whole pear, till she twigged that this was the famed blw in action...
Things were starting to wind down by this point, and Mel C's daughter had gone home for a nap, though Mel herself was still there (wearing a breton striped top with sequin detail - we couldn't remember which high st chain she is the face of though...)
The dcs who needed naps started to whine for them, and the ones that didn't started to get a bit unmanageable after so long in one place, so it seemed an opportune moment to sling up ds and make a hasty exit - not before claiming my goody bag and also one of the table decorations (with permission of course).
Oh and the 'play specialist' had wandered around chatting to people individually rather than giving a presentation.
High points of the event:
Plushness of venue (Molton Brown in the loos, yum)
Attentiveness of staff
Quality of puddings
Opportunity to grill product specialist rather than just PR/marketing spindoctors
Low points included:
Unsuitability of venue for event (unguarded stairs, lack of proximal facilities)
Frankly baffling lack of consideration for target audience by event organisers, including but not limited to:
no suitable food, no highchairs,
nothing to occupy children while mothers watched product demo (Gillian confirmed that when she presents to focus groups and testers at P&G venues there is always a creche)
coffee served in teeny wibbly cups and saucers.
In fact apart from £80 worth of Fisher-Price and a pink playmat IMO there was little to differentiate it from other 'product info' events I've experienced through work. With my cynical hat on it showed me just how little P&G were thinking about the welfare of their end users (ie children) rather than their own company image.
Next post will report conversation with Gillian but I may have to do tea/bath/bed first.
what was the play specialist idea? what did they say? how odd.
Carrie made that mistake too
the MNer from the OAA thing was Mrs^Baldwin^
maybe I should stop using MrsB...
I suppose I was just contrasting it with actual child-centred events I've been to. But then the children aren't the ones dithering between brands in the Tesco nappy aisle...
I enjoyed being wooed by p&g although I usually use cloth nappies at home.
I asked a couple of questions too about closed loop manufacture and got waffle in return, but I felt a bit guilty so didn't press further.
The nappies are ok, I think, not a huge fan of the wipes, but... there's a weird smell to the nappies, to my mind. I don't think it's dd's toxic weaning poos.
Anyone else noticed that?
oh I only use disposables on holiday, and then rarely Pampers as they're so darn pricey.
DH complains they smell even when only weed on and they do - weirdly sweet to my nose. I am using the wipes on my filthy 3yo.
TBH I was pleased Thursday wasn't too hot, else ds would've been rolling around in nothing but a shirt, displaying a large cloth bottom with a big 'MOTHEREASE' label hanging off the side...
I asked about recycling nappy components (trialled in Canada and Belgium) and didn't get waffle but rather a flat 'we have no interest in this' .
She also tried to convince us that smaller/lighter nappies meant less landfill, having just shown us that the crystals swell to 20 times their size when wet, so a used drymax nappy will be just the same size as a non-drymax one.
Yes, I got that response too. I was also told that they could not do closed loop as they'd have to pass the costs to the consumer..
The consumer has to pay for landfill through council tax anyway! She also waffled a bit about incineration but that simply transforms diverse waste into toxic ash that needs to go to landfill in any event.
She also said that cloth nappies get thrown away too. Maybe, eventually, after a couple of babies, but 20 or so cloth nappies don't compare to 6,000 sposies and textiles are readily recycled.
But anyway. I didn't want to seem ungrateful. It was a nice lunch
Is there an official link yet?
I've started to test the nappies and they have turned my DD's bottom BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There is definitely a weird smell to the new Active Fits. It's horrible.
We've changed to cloth but I used the drymax pampers while on holiday in the states a couple of months back and they smelled like... Mmmm... artificial vanilla essence
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