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Beverage company Tropicana is under fire this month for encouraging parents to #TakeAMimoment to relax and de-stress amid the coronavirus pandemic with the help of an alcoholic drink.

The company debuted the #TakeAMimoment campaign earlier in December, saying, “Parents, you’re juggling it all! Find the ultimate moment of brightness for yourself – wherever and whenever – with a Tropicana mimosa, of course!”

The promotion showed bottles of orange juice stashed with bottles of champagne in mini fridges in a home bathroom, closet and garage.

A contest announced in a now-deleted press release promised to award “incognito mini-fridges” to parents who posted photos of themselves indulging in mimosas on social media.

“Tropicana is helping parents find those moments – wherever and whenever they can – by creating incognito mini-fridges filled with the makings for mimosas to provide moms and dads with the ultimate ‘Mimoment’ for themselves,” the company said in the release.

Celebrities, including Gabrielle Union, Jerry O’Connell and Molly Sims, partnered with the brand for the campaign, with Sims saying, “My closet has become my go-to sanctuary to catch my breath for a quick moment of brightness, a place to sometimes eat my kids’ snacks or better yet, to sip a mimosa. It’s important to look after yourself while also looking after your family.”

The company conducted a survey of 1,000 parents in which 87% said they “sometimes just need a moment for themselves.”

“Overwhelmingly, parents noted that they … actively seek out creative ways to find these moments around the house. We saw #TakeAMimoment as an opportunity to engage parents in a fun—and real—way,” said Anup Shah, vice president and chief marketing officer Juice Brands, PepsiCo Beverages North America. “We can’t be our best for our families unless we as parents take time for ourselves. Tropicana recognizes that it’s important to balance self-care with caring for others, especially in times like these.”

But the company was quickly criticized as many took to social media to express their disdain for the campaign, claiming it encouraged alcoholism and bad parenting.

“Women lying to their families, sneaking off to consume alcohol hidden in secret compartments. Slamming a mimosa in the laundry room isn’t cute and it’s not ‘treating yourself,’” one Twitter user wrote.

Some addiction recovery organizations said the campaign messaging was dangerous.

In response, Tropicana pulled the campaign and issued an apology.

“We want to apologize to anyone who is disappointed in or offended by our recent campaign,” the brand wrote in a statement. “The intent behind it was in no way meant to imply that alcohol is the answer or make light of the struggles of addiction.”

It continued, “While we believed we were bringing the #TakeAMimoment program to life in the right way — through a message of positivity and balance mixed with a bit of levity — we hear the feedback that for some we’ve missed the mark. Accordingly, we’re ceasing any further activity in support of the campaign. We value the comments and perspectives that have been shared and will use it as a lens for evaluating future campaigns.”

Many consumers responded, saying they saw no issue with the campaign and planned to drink more mimosas with Tropicana in support of the brand.

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