Weight Watchers says it’s pulled its latest ad campaign in Australia amid a backlash accusing it of body shaming. The diet and weight-loss company had just launched the ad campaign and was trying to drum up publicity for it by mailing journalists ad copy and a tongue-in-cheek “sex toy.” The company got no shortage of publicity — just not the type it was looking for. Bridie Jabour, a news editor for The Guardian, found the materials among her incoming mail last week and posted a photo on Twitter.
How many people thought this was an okay idea before it arrived on my desk as a piece of PR pic.twitter.com/7tH37yyqsS
— Bridie Jabour (@bkjabour) October 14, 2016
A portion of the text on the accompanying pamphlet read, “If you’ve ever felt self-conscious in the sack you’re not alone — we’ve heard that more than half of women have avoided sex because they were worried about how they look,” the accompanying pamphlet reads. The ‘mood light’ is designed to give women ‘a little boost in the bedroom (a PG sex toy, if you will)’.” Many agreed that the approach was condescending, especially given that it was meant to attract customers. Weight Watchers also released an accompanying video, and it was no better.
“We never had sex completely naked because I couldn’t stand the thought of him seeing all of me,” a voice says over black-and-white video of a woman looking overwhelmed with anxiety. Watch the complete commercial below.
In a statement to The Huffington Post, Weight Watchers said, “The goal was to dispel the notion that people are alone in feeling this way and to shift the conversation from one of shame and negative self-talk to one of body positivity and empowerment. That said, we recognize that the teaser campaign fell flat.”
Read the full story at The Huffington Post.