Super Bowl bans Animal rights campaign on milk

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The Independent US

Declaring war on milk is a cause unlikely to win many converts. On the other hand, depicting nubile young women getting drunk and pulling their tops off is more or less guaranteed to hold the momentary attention of at least 50 per cent of the planet.

That appears to be the logic behind the latest advertising campaign from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or Peta, the leading US animal rights campaign organisation.

A lavishly-produced television spot mimics the publicity for a sexploitation video venture called Girls Gone Wild: good-looking college girls go on spring break and flash for the cameras.

But in the Peta version, the girls have udders instead of breasts, which soon start leaking milk.

Using the slogan "Milk Gone Wild", the adverts aren't so much shocking as laugh-out-loud ridiculous. It's not clear what link is being made between the exhibitionist college girls and the supposed iniquities of milk.

Only a visit to the Milk Gone Wild website, and a viewing of a short documentary narrated by the actor Alec Baldwin, explains the case against the accompaniment to every kid's bowl of breakfast cereal.

Milk, Peta says, is the product of an industry gone wild, in which cows are separated from their offspring, only to be slaughtered for meat once they have outlived their productivity.

Milk, we are also told, contains pus and animal faeces and, contrary to received wisdom that says its calcium is good for your bones, might just as easily give you osteoporosis as prevent it.

This is probably not a message middle America is ready to hear, at least not without creating an unfortunate backlash. Nor is it likely to be aired on television in any major markets.

Peta offered to pay $2.2m (£1.2m) to the ABC network to air it during last night's Super Bowl but was turned down on the grounds the advert "falls outside the boundaries of good taste".

This was, admittedly, a disingenuous reason. Previous Super Bowl adverts have included a dog biting a man in the crotch, a flatulent horse, and any number of pitches for erectile dysfunction remedies.

By now, crying foul about censorship is part and parcel of Peta's campaigning platform. The advert, meanwhile, remains freely available for anyone with access to a computer to watch. And the verdict from iFilm, the online movie forum currently hosting the clip? "It's udderly disgusting."

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