An animal rights group that urged college students earlier this year to drink beer instead of milk has attracted criticism when they luanched a new campaign that says dairy products cause acne according to a report published by abc.com, Friday.
A high school newspaper in suburban Brookfield accepted an advertisement from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that asks: "Got Zits?". It and the "Got Beer?" campaign earlier this year are parodies of the dairy industry's "Got Milk?" advertisements.
The latest version shows the face of a young woman with acne and with the milk-moustache used in the dairy advertisements.
“My first reaction to the ad is to say to them, 'Got bull?"' said Sandra Chalmers, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection.
PETA, based in Norfolk, Va., “will say anything for a headline and, as a result, they have absolutely no credibility," Chalmers told abc.com. "Their ad campaigns run the gamut from tasteless to just plain dumb and this one is both."
Bruce G. Friedrich, who coordinates PETA vegetarian advertising, said the latest ad "was created to let teenagers know that animal fat and protein, plus the stange hormones fed to cows these days, have been linked to greasy hair and zits, something students fear more than failing grades."
There is no evidence that milk causes acne, Chalmers said. "They should find a way to be advocates for vegetarianism without lying," she said.
SCHOOLS REJECTING ADS
Many high schools in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, California and Vermont have refused to run the advertisement, Friedrich said. All are dairy states and were the only ones where PETA tried to buy space in school publications, he said.
Staff members of the Tyro at Central High School in Brookfield decided to accept the advertisement for its May 31 issue for $60, adviser Elyce Moschella said.
"The picture's not of animals being mistreated," Moschella said. "It's just a picture of a girl's face. She has zits. We decided that since we took various types of advertising and this was not graphically offensive, we would go ahead with it.”
"The dairy industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year trying to hook people on a product that is cruel to animals, catastrophic for the environment and very bad for human health," Friedrich said.
PETA canceled its "Got Beer?" campaign in March after getting complaints from organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Nevertheless the campaign was successful, Friedrich said.
"If we had realized the 'Got Beer?' campaign would have played out the way it did, we would have done it years ago," he said – Albawaba.com.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)