Never thought we'd see our baby come to life, especially with a billboard in Time Square! #gestationsny pic.twitter.com/IwU9hN7FKa
- gestations (@gestationsbar) September 27, 2014
Adverts promoting a new bar catering for pregnant women who fancy a tipple have stirred up controversy, despite evidence that the ad campaign is a gimmick to promote a mobile app.
Residents of lower Manhattan were shocked when an empty storefront began advertising the forthcoming attraction, apparently to be called 'Gestations'.
"Gestations is the premiere bar for pregnant women to drink without being judged," boasts the establishment's Facebook page.
And the bar's Twitter feed cheerfully proclaims: "The bigger your belly, the more you can drink."
The bigger the belly, the more you can drink. True for men and pregnant women. #gestationsny
- gestations (@gestationsbar) September 25, 2014
But before you take up your angriest letter-writing pen, it appears the whole thing is a hoax. An eagle-eyed passersby pointed out that all the advertising for 'Gestations' contains copious amounts of branding for Bartrendr, an app which lets users read and submit reviews of bars and pubs.
According to its Facebook page, the Gestations 'grand opening' takes place on 25 October, so we'll have to wait until then to see just what it's all about.
It appears that 'Gestations' is a classic example of guerilla marketing, although you could argue that this hoax goes further than most.
However, if it is indeed Bartrendr's attempt at drumming up support for its services, it has backfired spectacularly. Facebook users took to the bar's page to register their disgust with the tasteless gimmick, calling the owners 'sick' and accusing them of condoning dangerous behaviour.
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"You are promoting actions that are dangerous to the health of an unborn child," one scornful commenter wrote. "Unfortunately, many babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome that produces learning and behavior disabilities as well as physical ones."
Doctors generally recommend that women do not consume alcohol while pregnant, although some medical bodies claim that the occasional small glass of wine or beer is permissible.
The NHS acknowledges that low alcohol consumption is unlikely to affect a pregnancy, but its official stance still discourages any drinking during pregnancy. The UK Chief Medical Officer's advice to pregnant women states:
"Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should avoid alcohol altogether. However, if they do choose to drink, to minimise the risk to the baby, we recommend they should not drink more than one or two units once or twice a week and should not get drunk."
More on Parentdish: Should it be a crime to drink alcohol during pregnancy?