MILWAUKEE — Advertisements that parody the dairy industry's popular "Got Milk?" ads have outraged New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.
Two billboards by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals depict Giuliani wearing a milk mustache and asking: "Got prostate cancer?" The ad claims a connection between drinking milk and prostate cancer, for which the mayor is being treated.
"It's tasteless and inappropriate to exploit my illness, and it also takes advantage of my position as the mayor for advertising purposes," Giuliani said Thursday. "The message they're trying to deliver just makes sense in their own zealous, out-of-control thinking."
Giuliani said he is considering suing PETA because the organization is using his image in an advertisement without his permission.
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health in April raised the possibility that consuming lots of milk and other dairy products could modestly increase the risk of prostate cancer. The study stressed that the case is far from settled and recommended further study of calcium's effects on health.
PETA targeted Wisconsin for the ad because it's "America's Dairyland, so it seems to be the perfect place to bring the message that dairy products are horrible for human health, catastrophic for the environment and a living nightmare for these cows and their veal calf babies," said Bruce Friedrich, the group's vegetarian campaign coordinator.