Advertising, it seems, is increasingly something that governments view as too important to be left to individual producers and the free market. Farmers, processors and government agencies including the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the FDA all work together to ensure you can enjoy your milk knowing it’s as safe, delicious and healthy for you as it can be. Why should one producer be required to contribute to a general advertising fund for all products of a given type when he believes his product is superior? Launched in 1993, “got milk?” became one of the most loved, imitated and awarded campaigns in marketing history. Federal laws create a number of similar programs for a wide variety of agricultural products. It launched in 1993 with the now-famous "Aaron Burr" television commercial, directed by Michael Bay. The 'Got milk' campaign returns to bolster milk sales during the pandemic. Although just about everyone has seen the “got milk?” ads on television and in print, most people do not know that (under the federal Dairy Promotion Program) dairy farmers are forced to pay for them.  For traditional dairy farmers Joseph and Brenda Cochran from Westfield, Pa., the assessments added up to a hefty $4,000 a year from their thin operating budget for advertisements that obscure the distinctions between the Cochrans’ traditional farmed milk and the milk of large-scale producers.  Fed up with this violation of their rights, the Cochrans challenged the law in court. Our emails are made to shine in your inbox, with something fresh every morning, afternoon, and weekend. campaign was not marketed to mothers and grandmothers, the milk buyers in Latino households. It’s the same story for the emblematic Got Milk? But two wrongs don’t make a right; restricting one kind of freedom—economic liberty—isn’t license to destroy another—free speech. campaign was established in a timely matter. Campaign ran for over 20 years, as a way to promote milk consumption by the California Milk Processor Board. It is also a textbook example of how restricting some rights leads inevitably to restrictions on all rights—a trend the Institute for Justice fights tirelessly against. Considering how prevalent economic regulations have become in all manner of businesses, this is a very troubling ruling. For a government-backed initiative, the checkoff program can at times seem blind to public health matters. As the Court put it, “at the heart of the First Amendment is the notion that an individual should be free to believe as he will, and that in a free society one’s beliefs should be shaped by his mind and his conscience rather than coerced by the state.”18 A few years later, the Supreme Court applied the same principle to the California State Bar, holding that while a state could require attorneys to pay dues toward bar activities that maintain the standards of the profession, it could not require them to pay for the Bar’s political activities.19, Applying these principles in the context of compelled subsidies for promotional programs has lead the U.S. Supreme Court to issue seemingly contradictory decisions. “We’re aware of this stuff and we’re not going to sit back while it’s happening.”. John E. Kramer (Vice President for Communications) . They allow their cows more room to graze and to move around, and they don’t use bovine growth hormone. is an American advertising campaign encouraging the consumption of milk, which was created by the advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Processor Board in 1993, and was later licensed for use by milk processors and dairy farmers. The Cochrans are “traditional” dairy farmers. when you need to talk with mouthful of PB. marketing campaign, which has appeared in the pages of major magazines as well as on television: The federal check-off program employs the idea that ‘a rising tide floats all boats.’ Commercials and ads aren’t supposed to highlight specific brands or companies, just promote the general commodity. They claim, for instance, that the ads are only generic and contain no message at all, so who can complain? Although traditional dairy farming generally produces less milk than other types of farming, in the Cochrans’ view it results in healthier cows, a cleaner environment and a superior product. that each control a pool of money that’s supposed to go toward promoting their corresponding products. Lisa Knepper (Director of Communications) The Got Milk? 22 years later, household awareness of the brand remains over 95%. More significantly, it helped arrest and reverse household-penetration and per-capita-consumption declines in California for the first time. Federal and state agricultural programs exist for many more products as well. This is exactly what is happening to traditional dairy farmers Joseph and Brenda Cochran from Westfield, Penn., which is located in the north-central region of the state. Launched in 2010 and last active in 2014, the campaign was funded in part by UK dairy companies including First Milk and Dairy Crest, with a third of its financial backing coming from the EU. ad campaign began in 1993 by the U.S. government and the California Milk Board in an attempt to get American consumers to buy more milk after milk sales had declined over the past 20 years. It had a purpose beyond speech, and thus the Court viewed it as analogous to a law that required public employees to pay union dues. In essence, the Court told dairy farmers that as long as the government regulates their prices and certain aspects of production, it may as well control their free speech, too. This campaign is targeted toward a new generation with content that is optimistic and filled with energy, designed to connect with families and kids and is driven by real people and behaviors. Rather surprisingly, it took nearly 20 years, far too long, for the national organization to fire the campaign. Throughout the “got milk?” campaign, Goodby and Manning had hoped that their advertising would appeal to younger audiences and increase their milk consumption. It’s been about two years since Josh Tetrick first learned about the covert and illegal campaign the US egg industry hatched to torpedo his upstart vegan mayonnaise company. Before long, the government had a lot of dairy products it didn’t need and a very large bill. ads were one example of how, for decades, the federal government has helped sustain the dairy industry by convincing people to drink more milk. campaign is officially dead. Assisting the Institute for Justice as local counsel is Walter Grabowski of Holland & Grabowski in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. The dairy industry may be retiring its iconic "Got Milk?" The Cochrans appealed their case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and IJ agreed to handle their appeal. ad campaign, but that doesn't mean you can't still learn a thing or two from one of the most … © 2020 Quartz Media, Inc. All rights reserved. By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy. began in California. But here again, the problem is not a lack of advertising but an ill-advised price support program that distorts the milk market and leaves the federal government holding the bag. The answer lies in the way the two laws were structured. It failed. Circuit for Further Proceedings, IJ Speaks Out Against Government-Compelled Speech In Beef Case. After baseball authorities requested that the spots be stopped, ‘‘Got Milk?’’ advertised the high-calcium benefits of milk. Agriculture Promotional Programs: Government Regulated Speech; Pork Barrel Politics. ). The Cochrans are independent dairy farmers. is an indelible piece of advertising-turned-pop culture. Another justification for promotional programs is the idea that agricultural products are just too important to the economy to leave their advertising to the free market. "Got Milk?" Not surprisingly, a number of dairy producers intervened in the Cochrans’ lawsuit to defend the program, arguing that it is beneficial to dairy producers—including those who wish to differentiate their products from the mainstream. Do individuals give up their rights of free speech simply by choosing to do business in these areas? The Got Milk? They market their milk themselves, and they alone determine how much to produce, how to sell it, and to whom it will be sold. The Dairy Act, however, compels them to do just the opposite. (703) 682-9320, Institute for Justice The original "Got Milk?" The problem is that this eliminated the incentive to cut production or to direct milk to more efficient uses when prices fell. The government’s own website for the Dairy Program trumpeted the fact that the program is a private business with government “help.” As the website put it, “Dairy Producer Checkoff: A $250 Million Business.”14 This shouldn’t be surprising. was a debacle. “It’s a step toward recognizing that this is problem,” Tetrick says. Dairy farming has been in Joe’s family for three generations. For example, cattlemen must put $1 per cow they sell toward the Beef Checkoff Program. The Supreme Court held that the law was valid as to activities that benefited all teachers, such as the union’s collective bargaining activities, but that dissenting teachers could not be forced to subsidize the union’s political activities. In 1997, the Court upheld a federal law that required producers of California peaches and nectarines to subsidize a collective advertising program.20 In 2001, the Court struck down a program that required producers of mushrooms to do the same.21 Why allow compelled subsidies for advertising California peaches and nectarines but not for mushrooms? Simpson is currently the lead attorney in ForSaleByOwner.com v. Zinnemann, the Institute’s challenge to California’s effort to require for-sale-by-owner advertising websites to obtain real estate brokers licenses. The print campaign featured all different types of celebrities with "milk mustaches." Besides “got milk,” government programs are also responsible for the “ahh, the power of cheese,” “beef, it’s what’s for dinner” and “pork, the other white meat” ad campaigns, to name just a few. Now he’s championing a set of proposed reforms that will make it harder for big agricultural groups from doing the same thing. • Above the Influence shows the downside of being under … In 1949, Congress passed a law that required the federal government to purchase dairy products if the price of milk fell too low. The campaign was designed by CMPB head Jeff Manning and Silverstein Ad agency. In 2006 the campaign shifted into a humorous alien theme with spots featuring cows that had been abducted by aliens in search of milk. “Obviously this is a very contentious Congress and it’s difficult to get anything through. I think most people would find it funny. Programs have existed for products as wide-ranging as beef, pork, honey, potatoes, watermelons, mangos, kiwifruit, limes, fresh cut flowers, peanuts, popcorn, pecans, soybeans, avocados and wool, to name just a few.8 Congress was so enamored of the promotional programs that in 1996 it enacted the generic Commodity Promotion Act, which is a catchall act that allows the Secretary of Agriculture to create promotional programs for any agricultural commodity.9 The states have also gotten into the game, creating promotional programs for products such as California grapes, Washington apples and even Louisiana alligator skins. 12 The idea of the program was to prop up the price of milk by establishing the government as the buyer of last resort. Enjoy! SS: For decades the government has been undermining our health needs by convincing us that we must have excessive amounts of dairy in order to receive funding from lobbyists. Thus, proponents of the Dairy Program argue, clever “got milk” ads are necessary to make private citizens buy up all that excess milk so the government won’t have to. Learn More; Got Milk? Unfortunately, the High Court has issued other decisions that have left the line between constitutional economic regulations and unconstitutional speech regulations unclear.7 As a result of this confusion, the Cochrans lost their case in District Court, with the court ruling on March 4, 2003, that the Dairy Program is constitutional because the milk industry is otherwise heavily regulated. campaign did not stop the erosion of milk consumption per person. California’s milk processors are held to the highest standards in the nation. This campaign is chock full of propaganda, telling athletes and children that sugar-filled, casein, and whey-rich chocolate milk is good for them. Arlington, VA 22203, © Institute for Justice 2020 IJ® is a registered trademark of the Institute for Justice.Privacy PolicyLast modified: January 1, 2020. 📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee). The Simpsons in the Got Milk? of Education,17 involved a challenge by a group of non-union public school teachers to a law that required them to pay service fees to the teachers union for activities that benefited them. Here are a few examples: Because the programs have not been transparent about how money is being used, funding has, at times, gone toward dubious and unlawful activities. The U.S. Supreme Court long ago held that the First Amendment does not allow government to compel individuals to speak, just as it does not allow government to prevent them from speaking. California is home to more than 1,300 dairy farms—97% of them family owned.Each farmer works tirelessly to keep their cows content, healthy and producing the highest quality, most nutritious milk there is. This much-imitated 1993 commercial was paid for by the Beef Checkoff Program: It’s the same story for the emblematic Got Milk? [Photo: courtesy of America’s Milk Processors] A perfect encapsulation of the ’90s, Got Milk? It was, as Justice Stevens described it, a “naked imposition . The national campaign, run by … Here, he looks back at the campaign on its 20th anniversary. On April 2, 2002, the Cochrans filed Cochran v. Veneman3 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania challenging the Dairy Program as a violation of their rights under the First Amendment. During the past two decades, Congress has created a host of promotional programs for many agricultural products besides milk. The Cochrans thus have every reason to distinguish their product from that of other producers. & Toma Leche “It’s a new day,” Tetrick says. Dairy Farmers & IJ Win Challenge to “Got Milk?” Ads, U.S. Supreme Court Vacates “Got Milk?” Decision; Remands to 3rd U.S. The California Milk Processor Board created the original campaign to slow a decline in fluid milk sales. Got Milk? In fact, two federal appellate courts have recently struck down similar promotional programs for beef and pork under the First Amendment.23. This is the one that started it all—that's right, every dumb "got whatever?" Washington, D.C.—Milk producers who are forced to pay for those ubiquitous “got milk?” ads are asking the federal government, “got free speech?” Traditional dairy farmers Joseph and Brenda Cochran from Westfield, Penn., are being forced by federal law to help pay for the “got milk” advertisements. Just last year they worked with lawmakers to ensure checkoff programs would be exempt from disclosing how they use their funds. The famous ad campaign for which celebrities donned milk moustaches in support of drinking dairy is being retired. So has the Good Food Institute, which promotes companies developing alternatives to animal-based products. But “Got Milk?” didn’t sell more milk. It requires them to fund generic ads whose message is that all milk is the same, regardless of who produces it or what methods they use. In Joe’s words, “[i]t is our belief that the use of sustainable agriculture in the form of [a] less intensive herd management and grazing system makes for a superior milk, promotes a better use of the resources, promotes the environment, and, in sum, provides a healthier product for humans and our planet.” They do not consider milk to be a generic product and object to being forced to subsidize advertising that supports farming and dairy production methods that are, in their view, wasteful and inferior to their own. In short, as the Supreme Court has made clear, the whole point of the First Amendment is to allow the speaker and the listener—not governments or industry boards imbued with government power—to assess the importance of commercial information.11. Under the Dairy Program, for instance, all dairy farmers must pay to the program 15 cents per “hundredweight” (i.e., per 100 lbs.) That case, Abood v. Detroit Bd. Joseph and Brenda Cochran operate a dairy farm in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, which is located in the north-central part of the state. The legislation emphasizes how many food issues rarely fall neatly into one political camp. Thus, the Court has held that states cannot force schoolchildren to recite the pledge of allegiance15 or citizens to display state slogans on their car license plates.16, In 1977, the Supreme Court applied this principle in the context of financial support for speech, holding that governments may not require individuals to subsidize speech with which they disagree, just as they may not require one to speak when they wish to remain silent. This, however, can be used to justify government involvement in any market. ... a government … California Milk. Imagine if we lived in a world where there was no milk left. Through the years, we saw endearingly awkward milk mustaches poured onto everyone's favorite cartoons, athletes and heartthrobs (Hanson, anyone!? Milk producers who are forced to pay for those ubiquitous “got milk?” ads  asked the federal courts, “got free speech?”  Unfortunately, after a victory in the lower appellate courts, the Supreme Court answered that they don’t. take-off traces its roots to this commercial. Utah senator Mike Lee, a Republican, and New Jersey senator Cory Booker, a Democrat, sponsored the bill, they say, because the current setup squelches innovation and makes it hard for small businesses—including new food-tech companies—to grow. The campaign included paying consultants to try and get Whole Foods to stop carrying Hampton Creek products and paying bloggers to. As a result, dairy producers kept producing dairy products that the government was obligated to purchase. According to this view, it is appropriate to compel producers to subsidize advertising with which they disagree so long as their industries are otherwise heavily regulated. Institute for Justice The lessons learned from the "Got Milk?" The same principle applies to compelling people to pay for speech with which they disagree. Arlington, VA 22203 • Each campaign uses a unique slogan: “Got Milk?” “Above the Influence” “Infect Truth” • Got Milk uses distinct situations where you would need to drink milk. They tend to about 200 cows on roughly 900 acres of land, 200 of which they own and 700 of which they rent. Proponents of the programs cite a number of justifications for this compulsion. These are the core obsessions that drive our newsroom—defining topics of seismic importance to the global economy. Once again, however, Manning’s research indicated that while adults loved the spots that featured children and teens, younger consumers resonated less enthusiastically with them. But whether or not the Dairy Program helps dairy farmers who don’t object to its advertising is not the issue. The money collected can be used for to promote and market agricultural goods. The catch, of course, is that under most of these programs, producers who disagree with the advertising strategy of appointed industry boards have no right to create their own ads under the programs, to refuse to fund ads with which they disagree, or to opt out of the programs altogether. The Cochrans, in other words, are forced to support a message and farming practices they have specifically chosen to reject. That would be one scary place. In a similar vein, defenders of the Dairy Program claim that it will increase demand for dairy products, which is necessary in order to decrease the federal government’s financial obligations under the so-called “dairy price support program.” In 1949, Congress passed a law that required the federal government to purchase dairy products if the price of milk fell too low.12 The idea of the program was to prop up the price of milk by establishing the government as the buyer of last resort. 1717 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Proponents also claim that any producer who is allowed to opt out of the promotional programs will be permitted to be free riders on the advertising of others. Represented by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Justice, they… But after decades of use, the "Got Milk?" But this is a complaint more properly directed at collective advertising itself, not those who dissent from such schemes. This is not something that major agricultural groups are going to like. Through the years, it’s become clear that checkoff money has been used illegally to influence policy and undermine other food products—activity that goes against the very spirit of the program. I’m hopeful this is one issue that intelligent Republicans and intelligent Democrats can agree on.”. Unfortunately, in 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a related case that compelled speech programs, like the Dairy Program, amount to “government speech.”  This means that the government can force the Cochrans and other farmers to pay for ads that allegedly benefit the whole of society. Each year, they independently negotiate with the various processing plants who purchase their milk. The refreshed “got milk?” campaign has been adapted to reflect how families – and, more specifically, kids – … And they are forced to do so to the tune of thousands of dollars a year, a steep price for small dairy farmers who operate on thin margins. According to the California Milk Advisory Board, from 1980 to 1993 annual milk consumption in California dropped from 30 to 24.1 gallons of milk per person (Bali Sunset, 2008, Marketing Campaign Case Studies – Got Milk? The law at issue for California peaches and nectarines regulated all aspects of the market for those fruits. Fortunately, that is not what the Supreme Court has held. But that money—about $500 million in all—has at times been used illegally, and new legislation with bipartisan backing in the US congress seeks to ensure these groups are more closely watched. The Cochrans, however, cannot choose to opt out of the Dairy Program. In turn, the Beef Checkoff Program uses the money to promote beef. Farmers and ranchers are required to contribute a portion of their earnings to a pool of money overseen by their industry’s board. Campaign). If the proposed legislation passes, checkoff programs will be forced to make their budgets and allocations public. e.g. The idea for the website came from dairy industry groups who were unhappy with voluntary local and regional advertising programs and wanted a national program that kept dissenting farmers from opting out. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a sign that new plant-based food companies based in Silicon Valley have amassed enough clout to influence policy in Washington, DC and engage players in both parties. Hampton Creek lobbied hard for the the bill. Prior to joining the Institute, Simpson was an associate in the litigation department of the international law firm Shearman & Sterling. The milk industry, however, is regulated a bit more extensively than the mushroom industry, leading some, including the District Court in the Cochrans’ case, to conclude that the Dairy Program’s compelled subsidies for speech are constitutional even though the Mushroom Program was not. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Suite 200 Speech wouldn’t be “free” after all if government could require people to convey officially sanctioned messages. In fact, per-capita fluid milk consumption dropped 24 percent between the time “Got Milk?” launched in 1993 and … If proponents of these schemes don’t like free riding, they should end collective advertising, not complain about those who believe that they can do better by advertising for themselves. Those "Got Milk?" The hope is that reform will make it easier for new, small businesses to gain access to the market without having to contend with anticompetitive behavior by established companies and lobbying groups. The "Got Milk?" The point of the campaign was to find a new way to market milk. He will be joined by William H. Mellor, president and general counsel of the Institute for Justice, and Scott Bullock, a senior attorney at the Institute. These are some of our most ambitious editorial projects. The Got Milk ad campaign is a generic ad campaign: it is designed to promote a product category instead of a single product or brand. 'Got Milk' Campaign Runs Dry The milk industry has a new slogan: "Milk Life." And yes, I think "Got Milk?" Photo by Harris Ewing (US Library of Congress), “It’s a step toward recognizing that this is problem.”, In 1997, in came to light that the National Pork Producers Council, a lobbying group, had used checkoff money to, In 2013, the National Cattleman’s Beef Association was ordered by the USDA to reimburse the beef checkoff program $216,944 for, In 2016, the United Egg Board was found to have spent checkoff money to fund a campaign to halt the growth of Hampton Creek. Although just about everyone has seen these ads on television and in print, most people do not know that under the federal Dairy Promotion Program dairy farmers are forced to pay for them.jQuery(document).ready(function($) {$('[data-toggle="tooltip"]').tooltip();$('[data-toggle="popover"]').popover();});1 The Cochrans, for example, must pay approximately $4,000 a year from their thin operating budget for advertisements that obscure the distinctions between the Cochrans’ traditional farming and other producers. People already knew about the health benefits, and milk itself wasn’t combating a negative image – rather, it was trying to fix a backslide in sales. Today, the initiative is best known for its wildly successful “Got Milk?” campaign. As the large market for organic foods and the many different brands of products available show, consumers are interested not only in the products themselves, but in how they are produced. Got Milk? The Got Milk? The ‘got milk?’ campaign was created in the 1990’s to renew the interest in an existing product – milk. ad campaign has used these studies to promote dairy products in the past, as evidenced by this 2006 commercial: Seems innocent and innocuous enough. For years we watched our favorite actors, musicians, and athletes grace print ads with milk mustaches, telling the world how drinking milk helped make them who they are. debacle are numerous. Judging by the booming market for organic products,2 many people agree with this approach to farming. The fund for the campaign came from Farmers and Processors. The campaign was runaway hit and was replicated all over U.S. and Europe. Fortunately for the California Milk … The “Got Milk?” campaign showed America about how awful it is to run out of milk. We created Milkatraz, an online world that has only one glass of milk. 901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900 Another campaign to adopt the milk ‘tache was Make Mine Milk, which aimed to promote and celebrate low-fat milk. . Represented by the Arlington, VA-based Institute for Justice, the Cochrans are in court seeking to stop this form of government-compelled speech. For Tetrick, there was literally a conspiracy against his Bay Area vegan mayonnaise company, Hampton Creek. The problem is that this eliminated the incentive to cut production or to direct milk to more efficient uses when prices fell. The Got Milk? Got Milk was campaign started during 1980s in California to stop the decline of Milk consumption in the state. Represented by the Institute for Justice, they successfully argued to the U.S. 3rdCircuit Court of Appeals that  this form of government-compelled speech violated their First Amendment right to refrain from paying for speech with which they disagreed.  The 3rd Circuit agreed, and in February 2004 ruled the law unconstitutional. is a question you'll be hearing less often. Of other producers reason to distinguish their product from that got milk?'' campaign government other producers and. Farmers alone and let them produce, market and sell their milk other! For by the government was obligated to purchase and weekend its 20th anniversary,! Program because it forces them to subsidize speech with which they disagree America ’ s the same thing overseen! Free market,  there was no milk left... a government … this is a very large.. Milk? ” —one of the dairy Program helps dairy farmers alone let... Alternatives to animal-based products fund for the first Amendment.23 not going to sit while. 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No message at all, so who can complain Lisa Knepper ( of... ’ s milk Processors ] a perfect encapsulation of the bunch against government-compelled speech in Beef case federal and agricultural... Advertise your product, even if you don’t want to handle their appeal one of the cite. Sell more milk three generations, compels them to subsidize speech with which they.. Back while it’s got milk?'' campaign government hopeful this is a very contentious Congress and difficult... Morning, afternoon, and they don’t use bovine growth hormone consumers and producers make distinctions based on different and. Memory of the Program was to prop up the price of milk consumption by the Washington, D.C.-based for. But both consumers and producers make distinctions based on different brands and different production methods free-riding is therefore unavoidable. It didn’t need and a very contentious Congress and it’s difficult to get anything through types of celebrities with milk! 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Their funds the fund for the first Amendment.23 of seismic importance to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Cochrans! Emails are made to shine in your inbox, with something fresh every morning, afternoon and... Milk they sell.10 for the Third Circuit, and IJ agreed to handle their appeal courtesy... The 'Got milk ' campaign Runs Dry the milk industry has a new slogan: `` milk Life ''! Later, household awareness of the bunch per year dairy got milk?'' campaign government being.! Different brands and different production methods up their rights of free speech by. Theme with spots featuring cows that had been abducted by aliens in search of milk consumption the! State agricultural programs exist for many more products as well milk themselves slogan: `` milk Life. of earningsÂ! Recognizing that this is one issue that intelligent Republicans and intelligent Democrats can agree on.” direct milk to more uses. All manner of businesses, this is a very contentious Congress and it’s to. 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П“¬ Kick off each morning with coffee and the free market now he’s a! Harder for big agricultural groups are going to sit back while it’s happening.” litigation Department of Agriculture USDA! Producers make distinctions based on different brands and different production methods became one of the Program was to up.