Goodby Embraces Criticism Of New Milk Campaign

With criticism of its new “Milk can help reduce the symptoms of PMS” campaign all over the web, Goodby Silverstein & Partners has shifted tactics. The campaign’s website,, now points to The site links to many of the articles and blog posts that discussed the campaign, and also provides a forum for more people to comment.

The New York Times has more:

Jeff Goodby, the co-chairman with Rich Silverstein at Goodby, Silverstein, said he was “surprised” by the firestorm the campaign produced. “It’s certainly more controversial than we expected it to be,” Mr. Goodby said. “After three days, this thing was off the hook.”

What’s interesting here is not just that the agency and client are responding to criticism, but that they’re still hanging with the premise of the campaign and the scientific research behind its strategy. Obviously, the tonality of the work struck a lot of people the wrong way, but there was a real point of differentiation behind the thinking. We don’t see a lot of ad campaigns that hinge on a core fact anymore, and clearly Goodby and their clients think it’s still a valid appeal. Many other clients would drop the matter as quick as possible when faced with similar heat.

And the article points out something I didn’t realize: Goodby used the strategy in a spot in 2005:

Of course, that was right before the big social media explosion.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.