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  #1   ^
Old Tue, Jan-26-21, 12:25
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default Oatly's pompous, priggish new advert is doing veganism no favours

Oatly's pompous, priggish new advert is doing veganism no favours

I'm a former vegan and have huge sympathy with the cause. But shaming beleaguered dads is shameless and counterproductive


If you were watching primetime TV (in the UK)this weekend, you probably saw the new Oatly ad. It’s part of their campaign to sell more plant milk, and features teenagers shaming their Dads into giving up dairy. “Middle aged Dads” have been targeted, because apparently, they are the group least likely to swap dairy for soy, almond or oat milk. Fair enough, Oatly is a business, and businesses like to expand their client base – except, most don’t do it by championing the intervention of finger-wagging adolescents who make Greta Thunberg look like Joan Rivers.

As a result, the ASA has received 143 complaints, which include ‘targeting vulnerable teens’, offensiveness to dairy farmers, and ‘being sexist and ageist’. I’m not so worried about the first two - teenagers have always erred on the side of black-and-white thinking - and as according to Mintel in 2018, plant milks in the UK accounted for just 4% of volume sales, the farmers probably have other things to worry about right now. But ‘sexist and ageist’ is spot on.

In one advert, a sneering little Gauleiter waits in the darkness for his Dad (for some reason a doddering octogenarian) to return from the shop. “What have we here?” he barks, “Cow’s milk? Really?” as the weary old man clutches his pint and studies the floor, mortified. In another, a family watches TV as Mum makes cups of tea (so if we’re talking sexism…). As she offers Dad milk, his teenage daughter shoots him an exocet glare, and he unhappily refuses. A third ad shows a po-faced daughter refusing to buy her dad a pint from the shops. In all this, we’re supposed to take the side of the judgmental teen, rather than understandably sharing an eye-roll with the beleaguered dad.

“We know we’re in the midst of a climate emergency, but there’s a group in society who aren’t grasping the urgency of it,” says Michael Lee, creative director of Oatly, seamlessly hitting peak pomposity in one sentence. “(This) is our way of helping teens help their dad or mum or uncle … to adopt a more plant-based lifestyle."

“Help” isn’t quite the word, however. “Shame” is more accurate. And as any psychologist will tell you, shaming only drives secrets deeper, causes painful division and destroys trust. The adverts have even been accused of employing the tropes of alcohol addiction - secrecy, denial, intervention - to sell oat milk.

I say all this as an ex vegan (and ex vegan magazine editor) who still has huge sympathy with the cause. I’d love to see plant milk sales rise, and spare a few million cows their miserable lives. But putting words in the mouths of holier-than-thou adolescents not only fails as a strategy, it pushes any sane adult watching into feeling deep sympathy with the fifty-something who just wants a dash of cow’s milk in his tea, yet is being harangued by the Year Eight chapter of Greenpeace.

There is an excellent book on parenting difficult teens, called Get Out of My Life... But First, Take Me and Alex Into Town. These adverts are the dietary equivalent – and I blame no Dad for telling his young prig that while he pays the bills, he’ll drink whatever kind of milk he flaming well likes.

Oat drink advert could be investigated for ageism as son shames 55-year-old dad for drinking milk

There have been nearly 150 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority

An advert by a vegan 'milk' drink is being considered for investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it showed a son shaming his 55-year-old father for enjoying dairy.

The television advertisement by Oatly, an oat-based milk alternative, shows teenagers calling 55 a 'difficult age', and focuses on a middle-aged man who furtively tries to drink milk.

It is aimed at teenagers, imploring them to "talk to dad" about switching from dairy to an oat-based alternative.

The ASA confirmed it had received 143 complaints about the Oatly campaign, including the targeting of vulnerable teenagers, being sexist and ageist against middle-aged men, and being offensive to dairy farmers.

A spokesperson said: "Complaints cover a range of issues, including concerns around sexism, ageism, causing fear and distress, affecting people’s mental health, irresponsibly targeting vulnerable teenagers, and being offensive to dairy farmers. We have also received complaints about the claims that CO2 emissions created by the dairy and meat industries are greater than the combined emissions of those created by planes, trains, cars and boats etc.

"We’ve are currently processing and assessing the complaints to establish next steps. No decision has been reached on whether there are grounds for an investigation."

An Oatly spokesperson defended the campaign, telling BBC Farming Today: "This is really about the big picture, we are in a climate emergency. We are talking about how people can look at plant based milks as part of a way to drive down their personal figures.

"We really wanted to make the key point here that livestock emissions are a really important driver for climate change."

"The real point of the campaign was in a fun sort of snarky way try to encourage people to have these difficult conversations. We flipped it as a teenager having to talk to their parent about difficult things"
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  #2   ^
Old Tue, Jan-26-21, 13:09
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Seems to be the culture nowadays. I guess being mean is interpreted as being forthright and firm regardless of who we offend as long as they're seen as being the offensive party. Used to be we respected people who had experienced things in life and might possibly share some wisdom with us. Now, they're becoming irrelevant. Sad.
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Old Tue, Jan-26-21, 18:48
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deirdra deirdra is offline
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How does the kid think Dad got to be an octogenarian (or 55, which looks the same to a teenager)?
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  #4   ^
Old Wed, Jan-27-21, 01:35
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Kristine Kristine is offline
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May militant vegans continue to be obnoxious enough that everyone continues to question the whole "save the planet by sacrificing human health" narrative.
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