Ads all over New York City for Pretzel Crisps made by Snack Factory claim, "You can never be too thin." A guerrilla artist/activist/concerned citizen responded with his own statement:
We're used to seeing starving supermodels photoshopped to appear even more emaciated, so most of us would walk by this ad and shrug. Another day, another unhealthy message about food, body image, and health.
An anonymous man took action and invited NYC The Blog along for the ride so he could broadcast his message around the world.
I found the newspaper clippings about the deaths of young people due to starving themselves especially effective. Pointing out that this shouldn't be taken lightly, our mystery saboteur reminds us that "eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness."
His message also focuses on the much overlooked fact that men suffer from anorexia as well. Calling these ads "bullshit," he asks Snack Factory to create new positive ads and remove these that perpetuate an unhealthy, and deadly, lifestyle.
He definitely made me stop and think about what images and assumptions we accept as part of our popular culture. How often do I shrug at a glamorized skeletal model on the runway, or dismiss dangerous diet pill ads in every glossy and on most web pages as an industry standard? This guy decided a massive ad campaign went too far, and he took up arms in a simple yet dramatic fashion. Bravo.
Snack Factory responded to NYC The Blog:
We hope people noticed what isn’t in the ads: No extra thin, scantily clad female models; No mention of dieting programs, points, etc. ... Our website and facebook page are all about EATING. We talk about pairing our product in different ways for appetizers. We want people to eat. Our health benefits section details how we can be part of a healthy eating regimen. We in no way advocate unhealthy weight loss or want to promote a bad body image.
We appreciate your feedback and apologize if the ad offended people. We are listening to feedback and making some adjustments to the campaign.
Let's hope we see these ads come down and other companies take note of the schooling Snack Factory just got.
Would you boycott Pretzel Crisps over this ad?
Image via NYC The Blog