According to the National Eating Disorders Association, the company’s response is to a rise of unhealthy eating habits and eating disorders that have been reported by the National Eating Disorders Association.
“NEDA is encouraged to take this necessary step in prioritizing mental health and well-being of Pinners especially those impacted diet culture, body shaming, and eating disorders,” Elizabeth Thompson (interim CEO), said in a Pinterest statement.
Other social media platforms, such as Instagram or TikTok have also banned certain weight-loss claims and products from their ads, specifically those targeted at young people. This was due to the increase in social media-inspired plastic surgery, and the growth of digitally ( or physically) altered Instagram bodies. Pinterest claims that it is the first to ban all weight loss advertisements.
It is very broad. It bans “any weight-loss language or imagery” as well as testimonials and product shilling. It extends Pinterest’s ban against ads that include weight loss procedures, before-and-after pictures, body shame, and other obvious forms of toxic diet culture.
However, there is a significant loophole. Pinterest does not ban weight loss companies from advertising. According to the company, “Adverts that promote healthy lifestyles or habits or fitness products and services will still be permitted as long as they do not focus on weight loss.”
This is in line with current trends within the diet industry. There are still many explicit diet ads available on the internet. Some legacy players have changed to adapt to new ad guidelines or consumer preferences.
In 2018, Weight Watchers was rebranded as “WW”. Perhaps customers will forget what the Ws used to stand for? It claims it is a wellness-focused business, with its new tagline “Wellness That Works”.
It’s safe to say that the $2.5 billion company didn’t do it out of goodness of its heart. Reports indicate that millennials care more about healthy eating, body positivity, and wellness than weight loss. While the diet industry is still making money from diet products, it has evolved.
The new policy allows companies such as WW to still advertise on Pinterest as long as they don’t mention weight loss. This might work just fine with them.