You expect that liquor brands will come out with controversial ads. That beer companies will run commercials that are a little racy. That an energy drink's promo spots will be a tad irreverent. But one drink you wouldn't expect to be at the center of an offensive ad campaign scandal? Milk.
The wholesome beverage's image recently went from "Got milk?" to "Got controversy" in the flash of an internet second thanks to a new campaign from the the California Milk Processor Board. Titled "Everything I Do is Wrong" the series of ads shines a spotlight on the lighter, funnier side of PMS. Based on research that alleges milk can help reduce the symptoms of PMS, the ads are directed at the poor, unfortunate, oh-so-helpless men subject to the monthly hormonal mood swings of their wives and girlfriends. "I'm sorry I listened to what you said and not what you meant," reads one of the stylized images. Under the text is the picture of an obviously concerned, borderline-terrified man, clutching an armful of milk cartons, tentatively holding one forward. Brave guy.
If you're laughing, I'm sorry, we're having a little trouble hearing you over the sound of throngs of angry women ferociously typing outraged articles, blog posts, and comments in response.
Interestingly, it's actually not the first time that the milk industry has used the men's-reaction-to-PMS-is-funny angle in its advertisements (see commercial below from 2006). It's also not the first time that other seemingly PG beverages like soda and coffee have been at the center of a heated marketing scandal.
Joining milk in the annals of offensive beverage ad campaigns are brands like Pepsi (remember their "skinny" diet cans they released back in February?) or Folgers (which actually has a long history of releasing allegedly sexist commercials). Thirsty to hear about some ads that are guaranteed to get you riled up? Read on.