MILWAUKEE - An animal rights group that earlier this year urged college students to drink beer instead of milk has attracted criticism with a new campaign that says dairy products cause acne.
A high school newspaper in suburban Brookfield accepted an advertisement from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that asks: ''Got Zits?''
The ad, as well as PETA's earlier ''Got Beer?'' campaign, are parodies of the dairy industry's ''Got Milk?'' advertisements.
The latest version shows the face of a young woman with acne and with the milk-mustache used in the dairy advertisements.
''My first reaction to the ad is to say to them, 'Got bull?''' said Sandra Chalmers, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection.
PETA, based in Norfolk, Va., ''will say anything for a headline and, as a result, they have absolutely no credibility,'' Chalmers said Friday. ''Their ad campaigns run the gamut from tasteless to just plain dumb and this one is both.''
Bruce G. Friedrich, who coordinates PETA vegetarian advertising, said the latest ad ''was created to let teen-agers know that animal fat and protein, plus the stange hormones fed to cows these days, have been linked to greasy hair and zits, something students fear more than failing grades.''
Chalmers said there is no evidence that milk causes acne.
Many high schools in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, California and Vermont have refused to run the advertisement, Friedrich said. All are dairy states and were the only ones where PETA tried to buy space in school publications, he said.
Staff members of the Tyro at Central High School in Brookfield accepted the advertisement for its May 31 issue for $60, adviser Elyce Moschella said.
''The picture's not of animals being mistreated,'' Moschella said. ''We decided that since we took various types of advertising and this was not graphically offensive, we would go ahead with it.''
PETA canceled its ''Got Beer?'' campaign in March after getting complaints from organizations including Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The ads contended that milk cows and their calves suffer on factory farms and that the fat and cholesterol in milk make drinking beer look good by comparison.
On the Net:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: http://www.peta-online.org
Dairy industry: http://www.idfa.org