The New York Times reports that the California Milk Processor Board has already canceled its understandably controversial "Women Go Nuts When They Have PMS and Milk Helps Make Them Less Crazy" campaign (launched July 11). The Times describes the campaign as being "ended early after an outpouring of criticism and comments."
It's fairly easy to argue, then, that the campaign was a disaster. People justifiably complained about it, a lot. One good distillation of the general feeling is a series of spoof ads by Funny or Die purporting to be rejected-for-being-too-sexist outtakes from the campaign. These are too horrible to even reference obliquely.
All that said, the contrary stance—that running a campaign that annoys a huge percentage of women and most even vaguely enlightened men is actually a pretty good idea—has a lot of evidence on its side. Calm down and consider ...
ARGUMENTS FOR THE CAMPAIGN BEING A SUCCESS
Everybody's talking about milk. This isn't a regular state of being. But dozens of articles and zillions of tweets/Facebook posts/and so forths have been put out into the opinion-sphere as a result of this campaign.
The link between milk and PMS relief is now pretty well established. Did you ever think about milk when you heard the term PMS before this campaign? Speaking personally, I sure didn't. But now: Link established.
Other than griping and moaning (i.e., "virally distributing the marketing message"), people can't do much, since milk is pretty useful. Seriously, are you going to boycott milk? Switch to Silk? Buy less milk-related gear? Stop seeing milk-themed movies? There's really not much the irate populace can do.
AN ARGUMENT AGAINST THE CAMPAIGN BEING A SUCCESS
People can now rightfully identify the California Milk Processor Board (the same people who perpetrated the great "Happy Cows" myth) as a bunch of jerks. And maybe, just maybe, when they pull more of this crap down the line, the reaction will be to turn off the television and park Twitter in neutral.
ANOTHER ARGUMENT FOR
Yeah, but who could ID any of these CMPB guys personally? Perhaps their wives will exact justice on behalf of women everywhere? Probably not. More than likely, they'll be remembered as those sly dogs who used a quasi-medical claim to boost milk sales by .4 percent when a .1 percent increase was predicted, thereby paying for the campaign three times over.
On that note, keep your eyes peeled for the California Milk Processor Board's next effort, the "Drink Milk Because It Makes You and Other Impoverished, Manatee-Fat, Boring Losers Slightly Less Awful" campaign.