Trick or teat? Lewis Road Creamery launches attention-grabbing charity scheme—UPDATED

When it comes to creative fundraising, it’s tough to beat the cancer sector. Recently, New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and Skinfood’s Breast Cream went on sale, with the goal being to raise funds and, at the same time, get women to check for lumps. And there’s another product set to hit the shelves that also aims to raise funds for a cure but might create some initial consternation: Lewis Road Creamery’s ‘Breast Milk’. 

Back in 2011, a London ice cream shop called Icecreamists offered a human breast milk dish called the Baby Gaga (which was served with a rusk). This year The Lictators launched another one to celebrate the birth of the Royal Baby. And, as expected, both efforts have led to plenty of heated arguments about whether it’s acceptable. Lewis Road isn’t milking any human mothers, but it is playing on the shock factor of the idea to help raise funds for the charity Breast Cancer Cure, which has put a deadline of 2018 on its mission. 

Roadies speak up about Breast Milk, the cow’s milk that funds the cure. #idrinkbreastmilk

Posted by Lewis Road Creamery on Tuesday, June 9, 2015

“We were approached by Breast Cancer Cure with the idea and we loved it from the beginning. It’s a bold way to help raise vital funds for a very important anf worthy cause close to the hearts of many New Zealanders,” says Lewis Road Creamery’s Angela Weeks. 

Y&R was the agency behind the idea. And over the next three months, 20 cents from every 1.5 litre bottle of homogenised milk (RRP $6.09) will go to the charity. 

“It’s a pleasure to work with such a no-nonsense and utterly transparent organisation such as Breast Cancer Cure and we’re delighted that brave brands like Lewis Rd Creamery totally get the power of a great idea. Introducing one to the other proved to be a master stroke and a great collaboration is the result,” says Y&R NZ creative directors Guy Denniston and Gavin Sakimoto. 

There’s been plenty of coverage of the launch, with Stuff running a story quoting New Zealand Breastfeeding Authority chief executive Julie Stufkens, who said it was disrespectful toward women and potentially misleading. 

It inappropriately aligned cow milk with human milk, she said.

“Sadly I think this is misguided advertising,” she said. “Labelling a cow’s milk product as breast milk is not acceptable. The product does not contain any human milk and does not come from a breast but an udder.” 

Plunket advised against feeding babies under 12 months old cow’s milk and Stufkens was concerned mothers could mistakenly purchase the product as a breast milk or formula alternative. 

But there’s also been plenty of positive reinforcement of the idea on Lewis Road Creamery’s Facebook page

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