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 WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Wounded in Boston, two brothers endure
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Why Easter is so important to Christians
- When will the Big One strike California?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Entrepreneurs: A dying breed?
- Why would a young person today be religious?
Subscribe to the Week