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Challenging Ads and Making Progress

Feministing.com is reporting some good news about recent a Yoplait commercial. A commercial that depicted a woman trying to justify eating a piece of cake – bargaining, negotiating, promising to exercise – and finally choosing yogurt because it would be a “good” food that would let her lose weight. See the commercial for yourself here. It’s surprisingly accurate in its depiction of disordered eating: the constant self-conversation about what food is allowed under what circumstances, the calculations that have nothing to do with actual desires, needs or health.  However, the ad valorizes this thought process and provides its product as the most ideal food in this calculation. NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) spoke with “General Mills executives Eric Galler, vice president of marketing, Yoplait, and Jeff Hagen, director of consumer services – the company agreed to discontinue the concerning ad campaign, which contained language NEDA says is a trigger for those most vulnerable.” See the NEDA press release about it here.

I really appreciate hearing about stories where people have seen problematic advertising and done something about it. If a company is trying to sell you something, they’ll probably be interested to hear how their advertising campaign is being received. They paid a lot to put it together, so if it’s getting you mad and not hungry for their product, they could be convinced to pull the ad – or at least realize that their strategy isn’t so hot and try something different next time. Consumers do have power to influence what is sold and advertised.

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