You’ve really got to watch your phrasing when it comes to fashion.
The ad gurus behind Pepsi’s latest campaign are about to learn that the hard way, with a wave of backlash headed their way in the wake of their ‘Get Skinny’ campaign, launched just in time for New York Fashion Week. Aligning themselves with a group of women who know just how awesome it is to be totally thin, the soft drink giant became an official sponsor of the event and have officially pissed a lot of people off.
Notable amongst them are eating disorder activists, who obviously resent the implication that being thin and beautiful is the only way to get yourself onto a catwalk, despite it being a foregone conclusion. Lynne Greffe, President of the National Eating Disorders Association let loose on Coke’s evil twin, calling the company “both thoughtless and irresponsible,” concluding “their [Pepsi’s] shameful misdirection is further exemplified by tying the launch of this offensive marketing campaign to Fashion Week, where women’s body types are atypical at best … and unhealthy as to be fatal at worst.”
That’s all well and good, but do you think the models for Charlotte Ronson or Betsey Johnson are going to be seen dead drinking the full-sugar version? It’s probably not very PC, but at least Pepsi win points for telling it like it is. In fact, it’s a bit like one of the ads in the Ricky Gervais– straight-shooting king, we might add – film,The Invention Of Lying.
Pepsi will bounce back in any case, because telling models to sip diet cola drinks with zero sugar and zero calories is by far the most contentious thing the company have done in the name of advertising. Right?