Starcom UK Oatly Marketing

After angering Swedish dairy industry, Oatly brings controversial ad campaign to the UK


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

October 17, 2018 | 3 min read

Oatly has ploughed £700,000 into bringing a controversial ad campaign to the UK. Running with the tagline ‘It’s like milk, but made for humans’, the first run of it in Sweden saw the brand sued by the country’s dairy industry.


It's like milk, but for humans

Oatly – a milk-like product created from oats – was taken to court by Sweden’s dairy lobby, which represents companies that have combined sales 200 times greater than his own, in 2015, arguing that the brand’s marketing disparaged cow’s milk as unhealthy.

Undeterred, it’s now bringing the ‘It’s like milk, but made for humans’ campaign to the UK in a £700k advertising blitz that will see OOH media running across key London underground stations such as Kings Cross and Oxford Circus, as well as Shoreditch, Peckham and Brixton.

The OOH campaign has been supported by VOD, print media and podcast sponsorship. The marketing launch hopes to convince UK consumers to swap their traditional cow’s milk for a plant-based, oat drink alternative.

Oatly’s creative and strategic director for international markets, Michael Lee, said: “Some consider our messaging to be controversial. We disagree. It’s fact because our oat drinks actually are made for humans, rather than for baby cows. Although we lost a lawsuit from the Swedish diary industry in 2015, we still believe in the line, it’s still the truth, which is why you’re seeing it across the UK.”

Media buying for the UK launch has been handled by Starcom while PR has been managed by Alfred.

The Drum recently delved into how our relationship with food is changing and the power of the 'vegan dollar'. Read the feature here.

Watch Oatly's original ad which ran in Sweden below.

Starcom UK Oatly Marketing

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