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Shutterfly tries to congratulate new mothers, fails

If you're going to congratulate new moms, make sure they're actually moms.


EJ Dickson


Posted on May 15, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 7:34 am CDT

Hey, ladies: Your favorite online photo-printing service, Shutterfly, knows what’s going down in your uterus. That’s why, earlier this week, the company sent a mass email to its users, congratulating them on their newborn babies.

“There’s nothing more amazing than bringing a new life into the world,” the email reads, next to a photo of a child kissing a newborn baby. “As a new parent, you’re going to find more to love, more to give, and more to share.”

Sounds sweet, right? Totally an email a proud new mother would want to receive from her online photo-sharing service. There’s just one problem, though: Many of the women who received the “congratulations” email did not just give birth, nor had they ever been preggo. Some of them were even men. So, unless these women were shooting invisible babies out of their uteri like a T-shirt gun, Shutterfly made a major oops. Nice work, guys! Way to be on top of it.

The email, which was intended to sell thank-you cards to new mothers, did not go over well with its recipients. As you would expect, many took to Twitter to mock Shutterfly for the snafu:

Hey Shutterfly, I know I’m single and 30, but the “Congrats on your new arrival” email really hurt my ovaries.

— Jenna Page Owens (@jennapage) May 14, 2014

Shutterfly sends email congratulating me on new baby. I have no recollection of this event. I hope I didn’t leave a baby at the hospital.

— Michele Catalano (@inthefade) May 14, 2014

Got a shutterfly email congratulating me on my ‘bundle of joy’…the apocalypse is here ppl, a website just got me pregnant #thefutureisnow

— Law and Lentils (@lawandlentils) May 14, 2014

Shutterfly has congratulated me on “bringing a new life into this world.” I can only assume they mean the monstrous abomination in my lab.

— Dan Moren (@dmoren) May 14, 2014

Shutterfly just sent me an email congratulating me on my new baby. This is news to me.

— Rick Klau (@rklau) May 14, 2014

What the hell @Shutterfly I’m so not pregnant. Get it together!!! Deleting my account.

— Heather W (@hwhite1283) May 15, 2014

A handful of women were outraged by the mixup. “As someone who is unable to have kids your spam congratulating me ‘on my new arrival’ was highly offensive,” one user wrote on Twitter. “[Y]ou messed up. BIG… Mother’s Day was bad enough… Talk about salt in the wound,” tweeted another.

Others just didn’t care:

i’m not pregnant and i didn’t care at all about the shutterfly email. people need to chill out.

— Katelyn Burkhart (@katelynburkhart) May 15, 2014

Over the past 24 hours, Shutterfly has been issuing individual apologies to women who received the e mail via e mail and Twitter.  “We deeply apologize for this intrusion and any offense this may have caused,” a Shutterfly representative told the Huffington Post. “Our intention was to email customers who have recently purchased birth announcements with us, and it was sent to a larger distribution in error.” Which I guess is code for, “The intern who’s responsible for harvesting all our user data was on vacation, so we just decided to say ‘Screw it’ and send it to all y’all.”

H/T Huffington Post | Photo by Joshua Rappeneker/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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*First Published: May 15, 2014, 1:52 pm CDT