- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 26, 2005

One group’s beef about lactose intolerance and the lack of warnings on dairy products has surfaced in an ad campaign spoofing the well-known “Got Milk” ads.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) says 75 percent of people worldwide, especially blacks, have the condition that causes abdominal pain and other digestive problems when they drink milk. The group’s $15,000 campaign — which asks, “Got lactose intolerance?” — debuted in the District this month.

The ads show people hovering around a restroom with looks of agony and milk mustaches on their faces. The ads direct viewers to www.MilkMakesMeSick.org or to call PCRM.

The Metro system has been plastered by nearly 300 of the ads, including 70 ads in rail cars and more than 200 inside buses.

PCRM, a nonprofit group based in the District, plans to file suit against dairy producers on behalf of D.C. residents who are lactose intolerant. The lawsuit will seek compensation for sufferers and a court order mandating that warning labels about lactose intolerance be placed on milk sold in the city.

The group has received more than 100 responses to its ad campaign, mainly from people asking whether they are eligible to join the lawsuit, said Dan Kinburn, associate general counsel for PCRM.

Adults who have learned within the past three years that they are lactose intolerant and children who have the condition are eligible to receive damages if PCRM prevails in court, said Mr. Kinburn, who expects to file the lawsuit in mid-July.

More than a billboard

The news anchors at WJLA-TV (Channel 7) are larger than life.

An ad, featuring anchors such as Kathleen Matthews and Leon Harris, is wrapped around a 75-foot-long Metro car on the Red Line.

The ad began appearing this morning and will continue to move along the commuter rail line for a month. The ad cost ABC’s Washington affiliate $10,000.

McDonald’s debuted two wrap-around ads on the Metro in May to promote its new fruit and walnut salad. Those ads are expected to run through July.

Sex sells …

Or at least it gets people searching online.

The racy Carl’s Jr. ad featuring hotel heiress Paris Hilton in a skimpy bathing suit washing herself and a Bentley and biting into a burger resulted in off-the-charts searches on the Web.

The campaign debuted last month to its share of controversy, including one parent group calling it “soft-core porn.”

Hitwise, which monitors how 25 million Internet users interact with more than 500,000 Web sites, said searches for the term “paris hilton” grew 102 percent and queries for “carls jr” grew 802 percent the week ended May 28, compared with the previous week.

Carl’s Jr.’s parent company, CKE Restaurants, is hoping for a similar result when it runs the same ad with Miss Hilton touting a burger for its Hardee’s chain.

The ad will debut this week in Midwest and Southeast markets, but will air after 9 p.m.

Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing runs every other Monday.

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