Weight-loss advertisements will no longer be allowed on Pinterest, the company announced Thursday.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) reported that unhealthy eating habits and eating disorders have increased.
“NEDA is encouraged by this significant step in prioritizing the mental health and wellness of our users, especially those facing challenges caused by diet culture, body shaming, and eating disorders,” Elizabeth Thompson, NEDA’s interim CEO, said in a press release posted by Pinterest.
Other social media networks, including Instagram and TikTok, have banned a subset of weight-loss claims and products from ads — specifically ads that are intended for young people. That was in reaction to the proliferation of digitally (and physically) altered Instagram bodies that perpetuate unrealistic aesthetic standards, ads selling potentially harmful diet items (like detox teas), and the increasing demand for social media-inspired plastic surgery. Pinterest, meanwhile says its policy is the first to ban “all” weight-loss advertisements.
Policy is quite broad. There are also prohibited “weight loss terminology or illustrations,” testimonials, product shilling, idealization or denigration of certain body types, and references to BMI. The ad ban expands on Pinterest’s ban on ads containing weight loss pills, body-shaming images, and other toxic diet culture elements.
There is, however, a pretty major loophole. Weight loss companies are not actually prohibited from advertising on Pinterest. The organization claims, “Ads that promote fitness products and services will still be allowed, as long as the advertisements do not focus on weight loss.”
The diet industry is actually following current trends in this regard. in world of Internet, Still you can find various explicit diet ads. Although some legacy players have shifted to adapt to new advertising guidelines and consumer preferences.
Weight Watchers rebranded to “WW” in 2018 (maybe customers would forget what those Ws stood for initially?). Currently, it’s a wellness-focused company, and its new tagline is “Wellness that Works.”
You can bet the $2.5 billion corporations didn’t make that move entirely out of the goodness of its heart. Reports show that young people are much more interested in healthy eating, body positivity, and wellnes, not weight loss. Although the diet industry has adapted, it continues to cash in on diet products.
Companies like WW can still advertise on Pinterest as long as they don’t explicitly mention weight loss – which might be fine for them.