Lean Cuisine asked women what it means for them to "have it all."
Some responded: Not the message you're selling.
The frozen food brand came under fire last week after its latest ad campaign encouraged women to define "having it all." A barrage of comments quickly chastised the campaign for only addressing women and chided the brand with tying happiness and fulfillment to diet culture.
Still, brand executives and a psychologist behind the campaign stand by its message, saying the campaign highlighted the positive influences women can have on one another and the social pressures women often face when balancing personal and working life.
"There's so much negativity around the female relationship when it's a source of great strength," Julie Lehman, marketing director for Lean Cuisine, told the Post. "The campaign allows you to really understand your own 'it all' in your own way."
But outside experts say Lean Cuisine misjudged the effect of sharing the hashtag on social media.
And they say the campaign could have homed in on similar themes by not only focusing on women.
"This could have been in general, 'how can Americans, how can humans have it all?' " said Angeline Close Scheinbaum, an advertising professor at the University of Texas at Austin. "Why did they need to do this targeted campaign just to women? That would have been a very simple fix."
As one woman put it on Twitter: "Having ItAll means not having diet food directly targeted at me because I'm a woman. What year is it again?"
The ItAll campaign features a four-minute video showing a group of women discussing what "having it all" means to them. Eighteen women are brought into a makeshift store where they can choose items representing different life paths — including goals for family and career — into a shopping cart. Each of the options in the store was identical to those that appeared on a survey that all of the women filled out on their own weeks before the filming.
As of Friday morning, the video had been viewed more than 9.5 million times.