Got Milk (carton advertising)?

I got an email last week from a marketing firm that was different than most of the briefing requests I get.  This firm, Milk Media, partners with dairies to place branded advertisements on the back of the individual-sized milk cartons served at lunch time in schools around the country.

Interesting to me, is that the email (see below) calls out how similar companies have been chastised by the FTC for marketing to kids in a controlled environment.  Milk Media, it claims, is an a-ok marketing environment because milk promotes a healthy lifestyle.

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I wanted to take just a moment of your time to introduce you to MilkMedia and their unique niche marketing with Milk Rocks!

In a nutshell, MilkMedia, through their partner dairies, has the ability to promote musical artists/entertainment figures on up to 24 million branded cartons of milk per day sold in schools (see carton mock-up below). That is the sum total of milk sold daily in more than 90,000 elementary, middle and high schools nationwide (a clearance of approximately 95% of all US schools). Additionally, Milk Rocks! Is able to place posters in lunchrooms in 20,000 middle and high schools across the country. Combined, these two outlets deliver billions of impressions in a venue that previously has been difficult, if not impossible to reach.  Additionally, Milk Rocks!, with the blessing of schools, delivers to students, branded book covers and other fun, kid-friendly materials.

I’m sure you are aware of the current state of marketing to kids with Coke and dozens of others having been issued FTC subpoenas. By comparison, Milk Rocks is in the clear and will remain so, as their promotions area directly tied to a healthy lifestyle and nutrition for kids. In fact, it is the only in-school promotional channel that meets COPPA and CARU guidelines.

Past and present companies on board with Milk Rocks! include Disney, ABC, Cartoon Network, Warner Brothers, Fox, Hasbro, Cranium, Ubisoft and Vivendi.

I look forward to discussing Milk Rocks! with you in more detail.

All the best,

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I have mixed feelings about this, to be honest.  I'm trying to remember if milk cartons had ads on them in my day?  Maybe...but something about this makes me feel like I need to wash my hands.  I know we are all overexposed to ads, but is planting an ad for a pop star or The Cartoon Network in front of a group of kids that has no other place to buy their lunchtime beverage necessary?  I mean, from an ethical perspective.  Convince me how this is a good idea...

Comments

re: Got Milk (carton advertising)?

Your gut is right - it's not a good idea :-)

re: Got Milk (carton advertising)?

Ads on milk cartons used to be for missing children, not video games, television shows, or toys.

re: Got Milk (carton advertising)?

I agree. Hawking anything to kids in school is a shameless practice.

re: Got Milk (carton advertising)?

As a kid, I remembered liking the ads. I learned to differentiate between the good ads and the bad ads. It may have even inspired my marketing career...= )

re: Got Milk (carton advertising)?

I kind of agree with Patti P. Advertising is a medium to be discerned. I'm more of a believer in feeding the lawn than pulling the weeds.

re: Got Milk (carton advertising)?

Milk carton advertising is just, well, sour. I think that flip books are the next big medium. Like the ones at http://www.flippies.com

re: Got Milk (carton advertising)?

Sounds like an udder shame to me.

re: Got Milk (carton advertising)?

I moooooooooove to have this banned.

re: Got Milk (carton advertising)?

Milk cartons are the domain of missing children. Why would you want to advertise there? Let the space be used for advertising the identities of missing, abducted children -- and finding them.

re: Got Milk (carton advertising)?

The biggest concern I have is that this type of advertising reaches a "captive" audience. Its compulsory for kids to be in school, and most of them don't have a lot of (healthy) beverage choices besides milk for lunch. So it just seems sketchy to want to hawk your wares to kids who can't *not* choose to see them.

re: Got Milk (carton advertising)?

It's interesting that MilkMedia calls attention to Coke and its FTC issues . . . I am not sure that the companies mentioned (Disney, Hasbro, etc.) are any healthier for my kids than Coke or Pepsi.

re: Got Milk (carton advertising)?

Sounds kinda "Cheesy" to me.