Over the last three weeks, you might have been aware of a PR stunt that has started plenty of discussions across social media channels.
An ice cream parlour based in central London started selling ice cream made with human breast milk. An advert had been placed on the popular parenting forum, Mumsnet and women came forward to sell their breast milk for the project. Called ‘Baby Gaga’, the ice cream consisted of breast milk, vanilla pods and lemon zest, selling out within two hours of the launch… but this isn’t the end of the story.
A further 200 women came forward to donate their milk but health officials in Westminster put a stop to the operation, deeming it unsafe but didn’t appear to be entirely sure what made the product unsafe.
Cue the hand-wringing from PRs across the country with some declaring that stunts such as this one may give a short term benefit but in PR agencies, we work for the long term goals and ultimately, time would tell if customers are desensitised to the ice cream parlour’s USP.
As a PR agency, we think this was an absolutely brilliant campaign. It was certainly creative and the story just kept giving. One of the ladies who donated her milk wrote a piece in the Guardian explaining why she decided to get involved. Not only did the ice cream parlour itself attract attention, the subject of breast feeding has come up for discussion, a subject militant mums on the internet love talking about, ensuring the name of the company remains talked about for a while to come yet.
The company who masterminded the plan claim that the campaign returned £2.3 million worth of coverage over the course of 4 days. Not only that, the ice cream parlour reported a huge influx of customers wanting to try out other flavours in their range of ice creams.
Whilst Lady Gaga’s people have written to the company stating their intention to sue regarding their ‘piggybacking’ off her image with a product they describe as “nausea-inducing”, this move ensures that the story has legs because the company has positioned itself as notorious and controversial. In the capital, there are plenty of people who love weird and wonderful food enough to be attracted to the parlour for a long time to come as a result of this PR campaign.