Motrin maker feels pain from social media backlash

Firestorm hits blogosphere with protest against online ad aimed at moms who wear baby slings

Motrin's controversial baby pain relief ad

Motrin's controversial baby pain relief ad

Now, he added, the makers of Motrin should apologize quickly and then launch damage control - perhaps by finding the most vocal detractors online to help build another video.

"What can the rest of us learn from this? Never assume you know your target audience," Beal added. "Never assume that just because you've created something 'viral' that the sentiment will always be positive. And, always build your social media campaign with some input from those who represent all [the] target audience."

Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst at Forrester Research who follows social media, noted in a blog post that the firestorm likely won't likely impact search results for "Motrin" over the long-term.

"Over time, these search results may fade away, depending on how Motrin reacts, and how mothers decide to press the situation," he added. "Although brand backlash certainly wasn't intention, I'm sure that some at advertising firm who created the campaign will chalk this up as a success (it got influencers talking about the brand -who previously weren't), although the PR group certainly has been dealing with this firestorm all weekend."

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