Viral Pork TikToks? It’s a Government-Backed Group Pushing Meat On Gen Z.

"Ad campaigns from controversial quasi-government programs for pork, dairy, and beef are raising new questions around the checkoff program’s foray into social media."

"A promotional ad campaign for the U.S. dairy industry in the 1990s posed the question, “Got Milk?” — and quickly entered the cultural zeitgeist. Now, industry groups promoting U.S. agriculture are trying to replicate that phenomenon, using social media platforms to woo a new generation of consumers.

Some of their latest ads show women marathoners boasting about chocolate milk’s recovery drink status on TikTok and cattle ranchers joyously sharing their land with rock climbers on Instagram. A young woman, dancing to pop tunes, appears shocked to hear that pork has mood-boosting powers.

The new wave of social media is resurfacing longstanding concerns about the organizations that created them — promotional groups managed by government-appointed boards, paid for with hundreds of millions in government-mandated fees on farmers and overseen by officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Known as “checkoff programs,” they have faced criticism about accountability and efficacy, as well as doubts about the federal government’s role in promoting meat, dairy and other agricultural products to consumers."

Marcia Brown and Hailey Fuchs report for Politico January 27, 2024.

Source: Politico, 01/30/2024