Good job internets! PMS milk ad pulled

offensive PMS milk adAfter pretty massive outcry in the land of new media, The recent tired, offensive ad campaign for milk about how PMS sucks for men because it makes women total bitcas has been pulled.

As Lori explained when she covered the ads:

The ad campaign is conveniently called the “Everything I Do Is Wrong” campaign (hey, they named it, not me) and in it, the California Milk Processor Board plays off sexist and stereotypical tropes about women being irrational hysterical hormone-driven beings and men being meek, silly, fearful creatures subject to the period-filled whims of their “better halves”.

In a pretty clear example of how new media’s taken control of the ad campaign, the original website has been replaced with, which links to some of the web commentary. The site includes a half-assed apology which reads in part:

Over the past couple of weeks, regrettably, some people found our campaign about milk and PMS to be outrageous and misguided – and we apologize to those we offended.

Others thought it funny and educational.

It has opened up a topic that affects women, of course, but also relationships.

Nice try dairy juice pushers, but that “also relationships” thing? You’re kinda missing the point.

In any case, this is another win for the feminist internets, which is building up quite a track record of impacting how products are sold to us.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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Join the Conversation

  • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    “Others thought it funny and educational.”

    Wait–what? How were a bunch of tired old PMS jokes “educational”? What was I learning from that, that 1950’s style Thurberesque “nagging woman/henpecked man” gags are not dead?

  • nazza

    I wonder how a group might seek to reclaim the basic premise, along the lines of privilege denying dude.

  • MissRep

    So excited about this! Social media is allowing a variety of women’s rights organizations to collaborate and create a real, live grassroots movement that is quickly growing in strength. 2012 will be a banner year for this kind of action. Congrats to Ms. Magazine, and the thousands of individuals who stood up for the rights of women and girls everywhere.

  • Elizabeth

    Over the past couple of weeks, regrettably, some people found our campaign about milk and PMS to be outrageous and misguided – and we apologize to those we offended.

    Oh, it is unfortunate that you found it offensive, not that we said it. Next time just try not to be offended. Some people found it quite educational.


  • Conor

    Although I somewhat disagree about the offensiveness of this ‘intentionally over the top advertising strategy’, I think it’s incredible what the result has been. It’s exactly how these issues should be resolved, not through excessive legislation. Pooling voices of outrage and boycotting the ad movement is a great way to inpact the change you wish to see.

    • Lauren

      Wow…the ad was really removed? what a freaking shame that a group of people with feigned offence could have that big of an impact. Don’t we have more important things to fight for?

      • Daniel Ballow

        Humorously acknowledging one person’s pain doesn’t negate the legitimacy of the others.

        I remember suffering digestive problems some time ago, and I apparently talked to my mom very sharply and impatiently.

        Despite my condition, I can appreciate that I ought not have done that.

      • Carolyn

        fighting the good fight is not a zero-sum game.
        Yes there are far more serious things concerning women’s rights happening in the world, but it doesn’t mean we’re wasting energy on milk ads.
        It’s important to knock down sexism wherever it occurs- including here in north american advertising.

  • Sarah

    Notice, too, how the most prominent piece of coverage they feature is a video that falsely claims that they don’t see really any objection to the campaign so far even though they would have thought that “women’s groups” would have objected.

    I do like the quotes from babble and Jezebel, though. “How much do you enjoy people laughing at you, not with you?” is almost exactly how this campaign made me feel. And I think Jezebel hit it right on the nose to point out that it’s a little wonky to suggest that men are the ones who really suffer from the cramps, the bloating, the fatigue, the headaches, the mood “swings” that can’t be controlled, the acne, the depression, do I really even need to go on? I don’t think anyone would say that it’s a basketful of sunshine to live with someone who is going through these symptoms but all I felt this campaign did was ignore the legitimacy of not feeling so stellar when you’re the one who actually suffers from these things!

    • Daniel Ballow

      “it’s a little wonky to suggest that men are the ones who really suffer from the cramps,”

      Everyone suffers.

  • Rachel

    I know I learned a lot about how sophomoric and sexist and unoriginal these ad writers are, and about the likelihood that none of them is a woman nor has spoken with or interacted with a woman in some time… is that the ‘educational’ part???

  • Doctress Julia

    Yeah, nice non-apologetic apology there. /s

  • elmiragultch

    When an ad insults me I am LESS tempted to purchase the product. Go figure.

  • Kynthia

    I first watched the commercial (As I dont watch television ) here. I was horrified. Seriously ? Who thought that was funny ? Why not a campaign about a wife and children coming home terrified of the male household member suffering a PTSD flashback ? Oh, cause it makes males look bad. Silly me.

    And that “apology” really. Sorry you took offense, next time we will be a lot sneakier about our misogyny !

  • Brittany

    I found this apology to be perhaps almost as offensive as the original ad. And this got discussion website is a BS apology. It’s just more advertising! They never even came out and said that their ad was misogynistic or sexist.

    I also disagree that this is not something worth fighting for. This is something that any woman can get behind as long as she has access to the internet, even at a public library, or just a phone to make a complaint. A lot of women don’t have the spare time or money to dedicate their life to a campaign, but this is one thing that they can get behind to battle the culture in America that women are not real people.

  • Junaid

    OK, let me try and understand this. Radical feminists are riled up at a relatively obscure (and harmless) ad aimed primarily for privileged middle-to-upper class Americans, and in order to have the subliminally “offensive” message retracted by exposing MORE of the lime light on it?

    Where does it stop? Should feminists also use their collective energy in addressing the stereotypes designed in the name of humor by comedians such as Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Louis CK, etc.?

    Meanwhile, in the same week as this non-story occurred, Afghan parliamentary women are fighting to prevent other parliamentary members from enacting laws against women because of their past as warlords accused of committing atrocities against humanity. Instead of exhausting your energy on redundant fluff, maybe your outrage can be properly channeled in stories such as the one I mentioned?

  • Susan Callery

    As the author of a funny book, aimed to help women to laugh when they have PMS and hence forget about it, I think that maybe the humor of the advert was not appreciated by those who suffer from PMS. However, like a lot of adverts, they are aimed at men and created by men. My book should help women and men to laugh about PMS. It is called “Laugh in the Face of PMS Diary” and is available on Amazon. Many thanks.