Austrian farmers dip into Internet 'milking' craze

Instead of crying over spilt milk, Austria's farm lobby launched its own campaign to decry the waste of the Internet milking craze.

VIENNA — Dumping a bottle of milk over your head and filming it for a video post on the Internet has become a popular youth craze, but Austrian farmers say the spillage is a crying shame.

"Milking," as the trend is known, is among a variety of tongue-in-cheek stunts in which young people shoot pictures or videos of themselves posing as owls, planks of wood, or famous people and then share them on YouTube and other social media.

Austria's AMA farm lobby Wednesday launched its own "true milking" campaign to decry the wanton waste of dairy resources and to encourage consumers to drink it instead.

"At a time when too much food already lands in the trash, it is worth questioning dumping milk. This is a valuable product of nature that our farmers provide daily with lots of love and labor," AMA milk marketing manager Peter Hamedinger said.

Milking has become an Internet hit, with one video from Newcastle in England getting more than half a million clicks on YouTube.

AMA's marketing arm said the milking craze seemed to reflect a strange youthful protest against authority. It sought to one-up the video trend with its own clip featuring a young man who holds a carton of milk high above his head and drinks the contents without spilling a drop.

"In line with the nature of the medium, this message is not communicated in a commercial way and absolutely not with finger pointing, but rather with a wink of the eye for the Internet generation," the farm products board said in a statement.