he image: Apparently, minor celebrities sporting dairy mustaches aren't enough for the California Milk Processor Board. The Golden State's dairy team (of "Got Milk?" fame) is going edgier with its latest ads. The new "Everything I Do Is Wrong" campaign, which touts the fact that the calcium in milk can help reduce the symptoms of PMS, portrays men as the panicked victims of an unseen premenstrual monster. The men clutch gallons of milk under lines like, "I'm sorry I listened to what you said and not what you meant" and "We can both blame myself." (See the image below.) Critics have decried the "sexist" campaign — to the satisfaction of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, the agency behind the ads. "We are very happy with the response to the campaign so far," a rep says. "We knew it was going to be a little controversial."
The reaction: "Ugh," says Kate Torgovnick at The Frisky, this just "plays into the the tired old stereotypes that women are balls and chains in relationships and also total shrews for a week out of every month." Exactly, says Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon. This belittling campaign paints the woman as "an out-of-control hysteria monster, a slave to her mysterious blood cycle, and the best anybody can do when she's about to go on the rag is humor her." Agreed, but let's put the gender implications aside and "consider this as a long-term marketing strategy for milk," says Rebecca Cullers at AdWeek. Men may embrace the campaign, but I doubt "the suggestion that she's a hormone-crazed psycho-bitch" will get any woman drinking more milk. Judge for yourself:
- The secrets of happy families
- 4 secret societies you probably don't know about
- This is the twistiest tongue twister ever, says science
- How to stick it to the poor: A congressional strategy
- Would you cuddle a stranger for $80 an hour?
- Did God have a wife?
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Why Republicans shouldn't get too excited over Obama's stumbles
- Why Newt Gingrich is getting flak for defending Nelson Mandela
- Which professions have the most psychopaths?
Subscribe to the Week