SACRAMENTO, Calif. (The Blaze/AP) — The dairy group that created the "Got Milk?" campaign is back with a new marketing strategy that already is generating plenty of buzz.
The California Milk Processor Board is encouraging men to buy more milk for their wives and girlfriends, which the campaign says will help them fend off the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
But the statewide campaign launched this week entitled "Everything I Do Is Wrong" was drawing criticism online for ads saying men are the real PMS sufferers as their wives and girlfriends behave strangely every month. According to The Huffington Post:
Ad Week argues that the campaign "presents women as more uncontrollably irrational than ever before!" and Salon believes the campaign has gone "that extra offensive mile."
The web site, a central fixture in the campaign, presents a number of elements that some may, indeed, find offensive. Others, though, will laugh at the jokes presented. Fox News has more:
The [web] site, called "Everything I Do Is Wrong," touts itself as "Your Home for PMS Management" -- and includes a picture of a a cowering-looking man holding several milk cartons with the headline "I apologize for letting you misinterpret was I was saying."
The site, which appears to poke fun at the symptoms of PMS, includes a feature that tracks the "global PMS level" and another that allows men to create apology pictures using the "Puppy Dog-Eye-Zer."
The board's executive director, Steve James, says the Internet, radio and billboard campaign is meant to encourage open conversations between men and women about an awkward subject.
"It was certainly not meant to be offensive. None of the humor is aimed at women. The humor is aimed at how clueless men are in dealing with emotional situations," James said Tuesday. "All of the humor is built around men's cluelessness."
Through the end of August, billboard ads will appear throughout California showing confused men holding cartons of milk accompanied by tag lines such as "I'm sorry I listened to what you said and NOT what you meant," or "I apologize for not reading between the RIGHT lines." Yesterday, the dairy group even help a staged PMS protest, featuring mostly men and a few women, near one of the billboards in Hollywood.
Organizers say that the promotional campaign will also include skits and "PMS-themed comedy shows."
The campaign is based on studies that have found a link between calcium intake and fewer PMS symptoms.
It cites a 2005 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine that found calcium improved PMS symptoms in more than 1,000 women. The study received some funding from GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures calcium supplements.
The board also refers to a 1999 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition that found calcium could relieve symptoms such as irritability, depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, headache and cramps. Its author also served as a consultant to and had financial ties with the drug maker.
Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr, chairwoman of the University of California, Davis Department of Nutrition, said she was not aware of any studies that showed calcium could improve the effects of premenstrual syndrome, although the FDA recommends daily consumption.
"I'm not familiar with research supporting that relationship at this time," said Zidenberg-Cherr.
The board has had success in highlighting the link between calcium and PMS before, said James, the executive director. That included a 30-second TV ad in 2005 called "Milk to the Rescue," which featured men stocking up on gallons of milk. CNN has more:
James said even his wife was skeptical about the campaign, but she laughed at many of the jokes on the website.
"It is awkward and it is provocative, but once you let the humor in and you start talking about it, we hope it'll be a healthy thing for couples," he said.
The Milk Processor Board is funded through contributions from California dairy processors and is overseen by the state Department of Food and Agriculture.