LOS ANGELES, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The Walt Disney Co. said its latest marketing stage is U.S. maternity wards where it is offering free one-piece infant garments adorned with Disney characters.
Disney is offering 200,000 garments for free in 580 maternity wards across the country, having struck a deal with Our365, which already distributes Fisher-Price and Procter & Gamble merchandise to mothers in hospitals, The New York Times reported Monday.
In May, the products will be available in national retail outlets, such as Target and Nordstrom, at a price of two for $9.99.
Some have said the company is preying on mothers at a vulnerable time, as Disney is also working on a promotional gimmick of offering free tickets to theme parks in exchange for mothers signing up to receive company e-mails.
But Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger just sees it as good strategy.
"If ever there was an opportunity for a trusted brand to enter a market and provide a better product and experience, it's this," Iger said.
Rachel Berstein, who is pregnant and an obstetrician-gynecologist in Florida, said she worries about marketers preying on mothers just after delivery.
"But Disney is a nice company and I think my patients would actually be thrilled to get free Disney stuff," she said.
Disney Consumer Products Chairman Andy Mooney said garments were just the beginning when it comes to products for infants.
"Apparel is only a beachhead," he said.