Players: Rebecca Cullers, a contributor at Adweek, writers at Salon, Jezebel, The Frisky, Feministing, and Babble; Steve James, executive director of The California Milk Processor Board, which created the "Got Milk?" advertisements.
The First Serve: Over the past two weeks, the Milk Board has come under criticism and scrutiny for having released their "Everything I do is Wrong" campaign on July 11. In an interview with The New York Times, James said that the concept of aiming milk ads about PMS at women by aiming them at men is "something we’ve done as a campaign five, six times, in general media and in Hispanic media." "We felt good about the responses we were getting,” he adds, "and felt it was time to bring it back with a new twist." The advertisements featured frazzled men holding copious amounts of milk cartons in their arms--the takeaway being that milk alleviates PMS symptoms and that these men are victims of PMS symptoms (from the women in their lives). The New York Times reports that this isn't the first time the Milk board has released ads touting the promise of assuaging PMS symptoms. They cite a 2005 "Milk to Rescue" commercial.
One day after The Times interview went online and the milk ads were released, Cullers posted a criticism on Adweek. "Today's deep, patient sigh goes out to the California Milk Processor Board," wrote Cullers on July 12th. "The campaign probably will appeal to men, as sad as that makes me. But you know that poor, unknowingly sexist guy out there will inevitably offer milk to his significant other as a nice way to say, 'I think your concerns are invalid and you're just bitching at me because your baby maker is about to blow.'" Writers at Salon, Jezebel, The Frisky, and followed suit and posted criticisms of the ads on July 12th. Babble and Feministing posted criticisms on the 13th and 14th respectively.