The dairy group that created the "Got Milk?" campaign is back with a new marketing strategy that already is generating plenty of buzz.
The California Milk Processor Board is encouraging men to buy more milk for their wives and girlfriends, which the campaign says will help them fend off the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
But the statewide campaign launched this week entitled "Everything I Do Is Wrong" was drawing criticism online for ads saying men are the real PMS sufferers as their wives and girlfriends behave strangely every month.
The campaign's website, www.everythingidoiswrong.org , has a color-coded "current global PMS level," a "video apology enhancer" and a "mistake verification system" wrapped around pictures of puzzled men.
The board's executive director, Steve James, says the Internet, radio and billboard campaign is meant to encourage open conversations between men and women about an awkward subject.
"It was certainly not meant to be offensive. None of the humor is aimed at women. The humor is aimed at how clueless men are in dealing with emotional situations," James said Tuesday. "All of the humor is built around men's cluelessness."
Through the end of August, billboard ads will appear throughout California showing confused men holding cartons of milk accompanied by tag lines such as "I'm sorry I listened to what you said and NOT what you meant," or "I apologize for not reading between the RIGHT lines."
The campaign is based on a 2005 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine that shows calcium can improve PMS symptoms.
The Milk Processor Board is funded through contributions by California dairy processors and overseen by the state Department of Food and Agriculture.