Yoplait Ad Promotes Eating Disorders? - U2 Feedback

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Old 06-17-2011, 09:10 AM   #1
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Yoplait Ad Promotes Eating Disorders?

Of course you could say that about liquor ads and alcoholics, and probably about so many other ads. But "jog in place while eating a small slice of cheesecake", and they had no idea..it never crossed their minds? I was "good " today, I deserve it. Yes, mental exercises. That even some people who don't have those disorders go through. The coworker thing too. Hmmm.

They are not responsible for how anyone sees that ad through a prism of eating disorders, but they could still try to be a responsible company.



Huffington Post

Yoplait has agreed to pull a yogurt commercial that the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) believes could trigger dangerous behavior in those suffering from eating disorders.

The ad in question addresses a common dilemma: to dessert, or not to dessert? An already slim woman is frozen in front of her office's refrigerator, an inner monologue belying a complex barter system that could justify a piece of raspberry cheesecake.

She could have a small slice, she rationalizes; she has been "good." Or maybe a medium slice with some celery sticks. Or what if she were to jog in place while eating a big slice of cake followed by some celery sticks – that would cancel everything out, right?

This spiral of obsession and restriction ends when a skinnier coworker grabs Raspberry Cheesecake Yoplait Lite. The first woman's decision has been made.

"[For those with eating disorders], opening a refrigerator is like walking off a bridge," said Lynn Grefe, president of NEDA. "And to see this behavior in a commercial tells people with eating disorders, see, it's even on TV. It's ok and normal for my head to go through all these mental exercises."

The commercial came to Grefe's attention after she received numerous emails and phone calls from eating disorder sufferers. According to Grefe, the ad's language, seemingly innocuous to some, could easily serve as a trigger for those vulnerable to disordered eating.

"I was shocked by how they really nailed it on the head--that's exactly what I thought every time I opened a refrigerator door," said Jenni Schaefer, who remembers experiencing negatives feelings towards food as young as 4 years old. Scheafer battled anorexia in high school and bulimia in college; she began treatment for her disease when she was 22 years old. Now 35, she considers herself fully recovered and has written two books on recovering from eating disorders.

"When you live with an eating disorder, you divide all foods into "good" and "bad" categories, like the yogurt versus the cheesecake [in the commercial]," Schaefer said. "Pretty soon everything moves into the bad category."

Grefe says that NEDA "applauds" Yoplait and parent company General Mills for agreeing to pull the commercial days after the group voiced concerns.

"We had no idea," Tom Forsythe, VP of Corporate Communications for General Mills, said to the Huffington Post. "The thought had never occurred to anyone, and no one raised the point. We aren't sure that everyone saw the ad that way, but if anyone did, that was not our intent and is cause for concern. We thought it best to take it down."

NEDA has fought what they describe as "David versus Goliath" battles against numerous companies whose ads – often unintentionally – encourage an unhealthy relationship with food.

YouTube - ‪Yoplait commercial‬‏
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:31 AM   #2
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Perhaps an unhealthy attitude towards food has become so commonplace in our society that we don't even recognize it as a problem anymore? That's my guess as to how Yoplait didn't realize how irresponsible the commercial is.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:52 PM   #3
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Doesn't sound any different from another commercial I've seen, I think for cereal, where a woman's stomach is growling and she's going to skip her meals b/c she wants to go out for dinner but then decides to have whatever cereal the commercial is selling.

To me they just seem silly. Nasty health cereal or yogurt is not a treat to me, nor does any TV commercial for foods I don't like in any way affect how I feel about my body.
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Old 06-18-2011, 05:53 PM   #4
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If this commercial was reshot in the same spirit, but recast with two men, we would not be having this discussion.

I haven't made my mind up whether the ad is offensive or not. Just an observation. I think the thing I find off-putting is the almost-neurotic copy the female actor is reading. This is why there are focus groups and I really wonder why this even made it to air.
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:36 PM   #5
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Women Laughing Alone With Salad | The Hairpin
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:12 PM   #6
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The world of stock photography is oddly disturbing.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:54 PM   #7
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Happy Black Women Shopping
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:35 AM   #8
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our increased, and rightfully so, emphasis on healthier lifestyles and eating better will clash with eating disorders again.

i often think about how much i've worked out recently when considering whether or not to eat something unhealthy. doesn't mean i have an eating disorder. so i certainly understand how the people who made this ad could have looked at it and not realized that they might offend someone.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:00 AM   #9
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An eating disorder is a psychological disease and so far beyond just wanting to be skinny and only eating leafy greens. There are plenty of overweight people who have EDs and haven't had a salad or a Yoplait in years. Focusing only on the healthy food aspect is not really focusing on the actual disease. I make food choices almost every day, but I've never had an ED (just all too familiar with them given the context of my life - young adult female, competitive gymnast). People do not just get EDs by watching a dumb commercial.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:00 AM   #10
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This commercial is pretty old; why are they just now complaining about it? I hadn't seen it for a long time and then it came back about a week or two ago. I noticed it because I had always thought that there was something wrong with it and that the woman seemed to have an unhealthy attitude towards food.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1131 View Post
If this commercial was reshot in the same spirit, but recast with two men, we would not be having this discussion.
If you're talking about yogurt, I have never seen yogurt even being marketed to men. Other foods that are "weight conscious" do seem to be marketed mostly to women. That has changed, and will probably change more, since men feel more pressures in that area.

No one is saying that people get eating disorders from watching commercials-that would be ridiculous. It's just a small portion of an overall image and mindset that is created and presented. To have a woman talking about running in place while eating cheesecake-well that is certainly bizarre and disordered thinking.

The coworker who has only been eating yogurt-you have lost weight! Good girls stay away from that cheesecake.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
If you're talking about yogurt, I have never seen yogurt even being marketed to men.
you've obviously never been to a 16 handles before...

and may i just say... deliciooooooooooooooous
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post

No one is saying that people get eating disorders from watching commercials-that would be ridiculous. It's just a small portion of an overall image and mindset that is created and presented.
Yeah but what bothers me about these things is that when women complain about these sorts of commercials it's like admitting that we really do shape how we feel about ourselves based on TV commercials. If we don't let it bother us and have a healthy sense of self, why does the commercial even matter? It seems like it has to be a little bit true if it's getting under our skin....
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:00 PM   #14
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TV commercials reflect women's often complex relationship with food, while at the same time making that relationship more complex.

the point earlier about the stock photos of women doing certain activities that can become addicting -- eating, shopping -- shows how complex the relationship is between feeling good and feeling bad, being good and being bad, and how allowing yourself to be a little bit bad feels a little bit good, etc.

i don't think food pitched at men -- and i can't think of any off the top of my head ... i can only think of beer commercials -- focuses nearly as much on the psychological benefits of either being thin or of eating food that tastes good, or the marriage of the two. how many O faces do we have to endure while a woman eats chocolate? how much is that salad going to tickle you with laughter? and eating is always so private, too, in these commercials. one woman alone in a room with food.

as one of the commenters on the WLAWS site put it:

Quote:
Making healthy choices. Taking care of me. Feeling good. Living good. Healthy and clean. I like that. For me. Because I matter. Loving myself because someone has to, right? Who? Oh right, me. Loving me for living good and eating good. Loving myself. Must. Or at least should. Possibly could if I eat salad. But only salad.
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:41 PM   #15
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FWIW, I love yogurt.
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