A series of Billboard
ads in the US that showed former NYC
-mayor Rudolph Giuliani
with a milk mustache
and read, "Got Prostate Cancer? Drinking milk contributes to prostate cancer
." It's a parody of the Got Milk?
ads that have been circulating. Giuliani recently had Prostate cancer
, and this ad tries to say that cow milk
contributed to it occurring.
PETA's stance is that the cows are being mistreated just for their milk, so we shouldn't drink it. To sour (pardon the pun) the public's taste for milk, they've been running a negative ad campaign to make it seem dangerous. In addition, PETA began trumpeting things like Soy Milk. PETA has hosted some other upsetting slogans like Got Beer? and their newest one If it worked for Jesus... which has a picture of the Blessed Mother breastfeeding Jesus Christ on a giant billboard.
Many people found this to be very offensive. Why not take somebody like Joe Shmoe from a hospital and put his picture up there? It was an insult against Giuliani. He never gave permission, and gone out of his way to say how healthy milk was for people.
Within a very short time after the ads went up, it made headline news, got a flurry of controversy, 58,000 hits to PETA's web page, and an announcement by Giuliani that he didn't consent to the ads and threatened to sue.
On September 1, 2000, PETA publicly apologized. "We hope you will accept our apology for any distress that PETA's recent billboard campaign may have caused you...The effort was not intended as an attack on you, and we're sorry it was taken that way," said President Ingrid Newkirk.
Also, they will remove the ads, but NOT because of the lawsuit. "I think if Mayor Giuliani felt he had a case, he would have announced a lawsuit by now," said PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich. "In reality, it had nothing to do with a lawsuit." The reason they state is that they have made their point and have gotten enough exposure and web site hits.
Some of the advertisers were nervous about such a controversial ad, prompting some billboard companies to take down the ads "under pressure" from Giuliani. PETA threatened to sue them (for breach of contract?) but dropped the idea once they were threatened with this lawsuit. As a compromise, PETA is asking the ad company to place an anti-veal ad with a calf on it in place of the "Got Prostate Cancer?" signs.
Quotes taken from CNN.com, from Reuters, or just from http://www.cnn.com/2000/US/09/01/peta.guiliani/index.html