Role of Media No effortless ways to lose weight Programs which promise ‘magic bullet’ for losing weight can be dangerous Media is the gatekeeper who dictates which weight management ads reach the public Media encouraged to fight against fraud!
Weight-Loss Advertising: An Analysis of Current Trends Federal Trade Commission analysis of a non-random sample of 300 ads from: –Newspapers –Supermarket tabloids –Direct mail –Commercial e-mail (spam) –Internet Web sites –Broadcast and cable television –Infomercials –Radio –Magazines
Most Common Marketing Techniques Consumer testimonials (65%); before/after photos (42%) Rapid weight-loss claims (57%) No diet or exercise required (42%) Long-term/permanent weight-loss claims (41%) Clinically proven (40%)/doctor approved claims (25%) Natural (71%)/safe weight-loss claims (42%)
Bad Ads on the Rise Between 1992 and 2001: –Double in frequency –Three-fold increase in separate and distinct ads
No Diet! No Exercise! Eat Your Favorite Foods and Still Lose Weight Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Days Scientists Announce Incredible Discovery! Revolutionary European Method! Ancient Chinese Secret! Automatically Convert Fat to Lean Trim Muscle! Shrinks Inches Off Your Stomach, Waist and Hips Turn on Your Body’s Fat Burning Process
… effortless weight loss. Same results as: Jogging 10 miles per week, An hour of aerobics per day, 15 hours of swimming or cycling per week
Extravagant Claims of Dramatic, Rapid Weight Loss Fast results Atypical testimonials