Coca-Cola-backed milk product Fairlife won't go national with 'sexist' ads

The new Fairlife milk brand is backing off ads deemed sexist for their portrayal of naked women being showered with gallons of milk.

CHICAGO: Ads promoting Coca-Cola-backed milk brand Fairlife that feature naked women being doused with gallons of milk will not be used when the product is nationally distributed next year, the company said this week.

Last week, various news outlets lashed out at the campaign. The Guardian published a blog labeling the ads as "unoriginal and tediously sexist," while a Yahoo report called them just plain "sexist."

However, a representative for Fairlife, a joint venture between Coca-Cola and the Select Milk Producers dairy co-op, told PRWeek via email that the campaign ended in June.

"The ad campaign that’s currently being referenced in news stories is an outdated campaign that ran in a test market," the source said.

The company also wrote a blog post to clear the air on Monday, explaining that test markets allowed Fairlife to learn what works and what doesn’t before the national launch.

"You’ll see all new packaging and new advertising once we launch," the company wrote in the blog. "The ‘pin-ups’ advertising may have been eye-catching, but we’re taking a totally new approach."

Fairlife linked to the blog post from its official Twitter account.

The Fairlife product itself, which is currently available in Minneapolis, Denver, and Chicago, will not be nationally distributed until next year, and it will have a new ad campaign at that time, said the company representative.

The product, which consists of ultra-filtered milk that contains 50% more protein, 30% more calcium, and half the sugar of regular milk, was launched in response to consumer demand for more wholesome nutrition from safe, responsible sources. The company claims it will offer consumers a dairy option that is sourced from sustainable family farms and provides "strong market potential to redefine the category."

Fairlife brought in Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid division as a strategic distribution partner, but it is a minority equity holder.

It’s understood that Edelman is handling PR for Fairlife. The firm tweeted about the client’s values last month.

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