Update on "Got PMS? Get milk". Ms Magazine is already petitioning against it.

Well, that was fast. If you're a fan of the school 'there ain't no such thing as bad publicity' you'll like this. there's a petition up at Change.org to end the "Sexist 'PMS' Ad Campaign" before its even properly rolled out. Its got 365 signature so far, which may not seem like much, but it only opened a few hours ago and Ms Magazine are behind it. Yikes. That's your target market, guys.

The full campaign is here. The post today explains how Goodby says his trusted focus group thinks it's funny. The people commenting on this petition are not laughing.

The California Milk Processor Board--the group behind Got Milk and the famous milk mustache series--revealed their next mass campaign yesterday. Centered on the claim that milk helps reduce PMS symptoms, the “Everything I Do is Wrong” campaign features a website for men on how to deal with their crazed, menstruating women. The website features a “vocabulary sensitizer,” “”puppy dog eye-ser” and “PMS rating index.” There are also a series of print ads showing men clutching cartons of milk, apologizing to their enraged girlfriends and wives for things they “did and did not do” and “not reading between the right lines.”

The entire campaign is overwhelmingly sexist, playing on the tired stereotype of menstruating women as volatile monsters. It also supports the condescending idea that any angry woman can be talked down with puppies and glossy compliments. We're asking the California Milk Processer Board to end this insulting campaign.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (8)

  • Lorrainebates's picture
    Lorrainebates (not verified)

    Apparently no market research went into creating this campaign, since in the most recent studies for grocery retailer, 85% of families' groceries are purchased by WOMEN. Way to alienate your target market.

    If I was Silk I'd see this as a HUGE opportunity to roll something out, pronto.

    Jul 13, 2011
  • Nick Sortal's picture
    Nick Sortal (not verified)

    don't know if it's offensive but it's certainly not effective. like some guy's going to buy milk to give to his woman, and that's a move that won't be taken wrong?

    do a photo of a woman w/ a smile on her face, buying the milk for herself, and maybe, maybe it works.

    this is just a reach.

    that said, the negative publicity will at least get the word out quicker: milk can help w/ pms.

    Jul 13, 2011
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    As a guy, I see it and think it's funny. I think *some* women may find it funny too. A great deal of bitter chicks with chips on their shoulder won't. And that's exactly my point: Women are the target. This is just totally mis-directed. I'd like to meet the planner who said "oh, yeah, of course...". I'm a creative, and believe me, if there is someone who thinks research can get absurd sometimes, it's me. But in this case, it's not that they didn't do enough research. Simple common sense is much cheaper than research.

    Now, if the strategy was to basically provoke the wrath of women to basically prove the point of what the headlines say, then it's brilliant. Who cares if they get pissed, if next time they're on the rag, they remember that sexist ad they hated and that it said that milk helps with PMS symptoms. They may curse the ad, while they go to the fridge and grab a glass of milk.

    I'd like to see the results, but we probably will never get to because this will be pulled before anyone can see if it worked or not. Better safe than right.

    Jul 13, 2011
  • George Shewchuk's picture
    George Shewchuk (not verified)

    I take offense to being called an anonymous coward! The ad's ok - but it's old stand-up comic material, this PMS stuff has been done to death. I do like the "claim" but don't really believe it, given this execution. It's trying too hard to entertain and not hard enough to be memorable and relevant.

    Jul 14, 2011
  • Dabitch's picture

    Perhaps their tactic is to push some peoples buttons, and via that be memorable? ;)

    Jul 14, 2011
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    They should do focus groups to determine whether the target audience has a sense of humor or not...

    Jul 14, 2011
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    it here after Ms Mag began petition

    Jul 17, 2011
  • Kelly B. Richardson's picture
    Kelly B. Richardson (not verified)

    Well, we hear all the pro's And cons. Now lets see the proof of whether it's really true or not? Could someone tell me please how milk helps women during PMS? Lets see the science.

    Jul 23, 2011