PMS-themed ad campaign for milk pulled
CTV News.ca Staff
Published Friday, July 22, 2011 8:27AM EDT
An advertising campaign for milk that tried to be comical but ended up being controversial has suddenly been dropped.
The ads and accompanying website had whipped many into a froth after launching 10 days ago by suggesting it is men who suffer when women experience premenstrual syndrome.
The campaign urged men to encourage the women in their life to drink milk to keep their PMS under control. (Some research suggests that increasing one's intake of calcium and vitamin D can alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, but even that research has been questioned.)
The ads directed people to a microsite called EverythingIDoIsWrong.org, which included images of sheepish-looking men holding several cartons of milk under such captions as "I apologize for letting you misinterpret what I was saying."
But, rather than laughing, many women – and plenty of men too – were just shaking their heads. They didn't like that the ad writers appeared to be playing on stereotypes of "bitchy," PMS-ing women, making fun of what is a genuine health condition for many.
So as of Thursday, the website now redirects to another URL -- GotDiscussion.org. The homepage includes this explanation:
"Over the past couple of weeks, regrettably, some people found our campaign to be outrageous and misguided – and we apologize to those we offended.
"Others thought it funny and educational. It has opened up a topic that affects women, of course, but also relationships."
The site then goes to provide links and quotes from some of the "discussions" about the ads, from such websites as CNN, Jezebel, and Babble.
And perhaps to prove that there no such thing as bad publicity, the site urges readers to "join the conversation" on Facebook and to Tweet their opinions using the #gotdiscussion hashtag.
The California Milk Processing Board commissioned the ads from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, the same ad agency that launched the highly successful "got Milk?" campaign.
The website launched July 11 and was supposed to run until the end of August. But the site switched over unceremoniously on Thursday.
So far, the ad makers aren't talking about what prompted the redesign.