Got Milk?

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Are people  getting offended over nothing? While browsing the web I came across this ad campaign for milk that tried to be comical but it had ended up being controversial and ultimately being dropped. Its ads suggested that it was men who suffered when women experienced premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The campaign urged men to encourage the women in their life’s to increase their intake of calcium and vitamin D  which can alleviate the symptoms of PMS. The group based the campaign on studies that have found a link between calcium intake and fewer PMS symptoms. The ads direct people to a micro site called, which shows sheepish-looking men holding several cartons of milk under such captions as ” I apologize for letting you misinterpret what I was saying”. There were also billboards in Los Angeles and San Francisco, for example which showed a man holding cartons of milk with the tag line ” I apologize for not reading between the RIGHT lines.” While the benefits of calcium to women are  widely accepted, the over the top publicity campaign featuring harried-looking men, color-coded PMS meters and “video apology enhancers” may be doing the industry in the nation’s top milk-producing state more harm than good. Many comments suggested women were offended that the campaign portrayed men as the victims of PMS. One comment on the site stated ” the fact is, they’re pretending that women are completely irrational beings during their time of the month and they’re blaming PMS. and PMS has a wide variety of symptoms. It’s having back pains, cramps, irritability. In their mind, it’s something to joke about. ” Steve James, the milk board’s executive director, said the advertising had accomplished the board’s goal of spreading awareness about the benefits milk can have on women who suffer the effects of PMS and on their male partners. The campaign was not intended to be offensive but rather to encourage men and women to have a conversation about a sometimes taboo topic. I see both sides in this argument . I think the ads are quite funny but can see how it can offend some. They were just trying to be funny but it missed its mark.

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3 Responses to Got Milk?

  1. rcfalcon says:

    Yes, i think people are getting offended over nothing. Women can sometimes be oversensitive and take things way too personal. PMS is something that women have to live with for the majority of their lives, you learn to live with it, so why not laugh at it too. Yes it can be extremely painful and thats one of the reasons why we get “moody, mean, emotional, angry etc.,” but as long as you know thats not your “normal” self than why get offended by a campaign like this.

  2. I think this is incredibly tacky, I can’t believe that milk of all products would try to get this risque. And the platitudes out of this guy Steve James are so totally fake. Whatever, dude. You screwed up, just admit it.

    I think it was in Bonvillain, CH.8, where she was referencing this anthropologist who did a cross-cultural study of PMS. The conclusion of the study was how in cultures who didn’t know what PMS was, women reported fewer PMS-like symptoms. So there is some role played by culture in telling women how they should conceptualize their experience of menstruation. It shouldn’t surprise us that our culture attaches to those concepts the idea of buying things, consumerism being so central in our lives.

    But back to this study Bonvillain cites. This basically ratifies what Hrdy was telling us at the beginning of the semester — that the hormonal processes associated with specific sexes are not only biological. That environment always plays a factor, including the social and cultural environments.

  3. mpier023 says:

    I think this campaign is actually funny, but I can see how women can take it into offensive because not only could it show that they take it out on men during the time of the month, but also it shows that all women PMS badly. But, I believe that they the women took it too far because it was just a group that was taking their studies and bringing those facts to society in a comical way. When I first saw the ads I laughed, but when I saw the facts about milk and the PMS I thought it was a cool fact, but that is just me. I just believe society is to stingy and does not become open to certain topics and I believe this needs to change because it would be cool to see stuff like this in society.

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