After receiving far more backlash than anticipated, the California Milk Processors Board withdrew the advertising campaign that addressed premenstrual syndrome (PMS) through depicting men frantically grasping at cartons of milk, which may, according to research, alleviate the symptoms of their lady-friend’s PMS.
When your ads are being parodied on Funny Or Die, you know you’ve pushed a few buttons. The ad may be sticky, but many are calling it sexist and offensive. Though the associated microsite, everythingidoiswrong.org (aka “your home for PMS management), was supposed to run through August, it has been replaced by gotdiscussion.org.
As quoted in the New York Times: “It certainly wasn’t our intention to offend people,” said Steve James, executive director of the California milk board, based in San Clemente, Calif. “We regret that.”
“No question, with some people we have stepped over the line,” he added. “We certainly misjudged the heat generated by the people who thought we stepped over the line.”
The homepage of the new site states that “regrettably, some people found our campaign about milk and PMS to be outrageous and misguided,” adding that others “thought it funny and educational.”
When I first saw the ad, I actually thought it was kind of amusing, though I definitely don’t disagree with those who find it misogynistic. I took it to be sarcastic, but I do have to acknowledge that it’s not exactly progressive to perpetuate images and ideas that further the myth that women become uncontrollable beasts during PMS.
Yes, we experience hormonal fluctuations that come with unpleasant symptoms that may make us more likely to react negatively to our partner’s run-of-the-mill, idiot male behavior (joking), but to be honest, the men in our lives don’t experience a fraction of the unpleasantness many of us endure each month (that the campaign ignores lesbian couples is something I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about). It’s hard to be a bitch when you can barely stand up straight due to cramps and fatigue. Some guys can’t even tell the difference. The most I’ve ever gotten from my boyfriend is a “Hey, your boobs look big.” Ahem.
So what am I saying? I’m not surprised. I chuckled, but I get it. I wonder how a PMS-related ad campaign would look if the GotMilk? folks decided to pitch to women…
And in case you were wondering, here’s some info on what you should eat during “that time of the month.”