Friday, July 22, 2011

for California Milk Board, PMS = Please Make it Stop

By now you may have heard that the California Milk Processor Board has pulled the offensive er--educational campaign launched by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners due to unanticipated backlash on the back channel. The ads (see below) are based on a study which (sort of) shows that ingesting 1200 grams of calcium a day help relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The campaign included a microsite called "Everything I Do Is Wrong" offering words "proven" to tame a species made psycho by moon cycles. (“I’m sorry I believed nothing was wrong when you said nothing was wrong.”) The site now abashedly redirects to

According to today's New York Times, co-chairman Jeff Goodby confessed that the campaign, which basically reduces women to an irrational species hapless in the face of their hormones, was "more controversial than we expected it to be." Perhaps his surprise resulted from the fact that he wrote and art directed a similar campaign based on the same study six years ago which continued its full run despite complaints that it was sexist and offensive. "It was a different world in 2005," Mr. Goodby said. Viva the girl power of social media.


bob hoffman said...


I will be posting a different POV about this on Monday. I'd love to know your reaction to it.



Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

Thanks, BH. I'll look forward to that.

Howie said...

I agree with both of you. And I will paste this comment on Bob's as well.

Yes this is completely offensive. Yes they have a right to have this campaign.

But here is the kicker. What if people who were offended boycotted Milk. Wouldn't that do much longer lasting damage than to pull the campaign?

I refuse to shop at Walmart because I feel they are an unethical oppressive bad citizen company. Greenpeace pressured Trader Joe's to finally cave in on sustainable fisheries.

Is this any different? My point being we all vote with our wallet. And we all for rational or irrational reasons do so to many businesses. And in response businesses are supposed to change in order to win back customers.

The only exception is the power and petrol industries whom due to often costly alternatives can't vote with our wallet like we should be able to.

California Girl said...

I am sooooo not surprised. Saw the PBS documentary on advertising the other night (forget the title) and many of the more recently famous were interviewed. Goodby & Silverstein both came off as assholes.