Wednesday, August 4, 2010

UPDATED: Pretzel Crisps Responds: Pretzel Crisps Pretzel Ads Encourage Anxiety About Body Weight And Image; One Resident Fights Back

UPDATE: WPIX and reporter Debra Alfarone hit the streets to report the story
UPDATE: Read Pretzel Crisps response below. 
UPDATE: Pretzel Crisps informs they will remove the offending ads

New ads appearing from Pretzel Crisps on street furniture throughout Manhattan declare: "You can never be too thin." As imagined, people have opinions about it. East Village blogger EV Grieve blunty noted the ads "still want us to feel badly about our bodies." pointedly asked: "Does this pretzel ad encourage anorexia?" And Jezebel, the widely read Gawker Media blog focusing on women's issues wryly declared the ads are "tastefully marketed to eating-disordered demographic."

NYC The Blog was on hand last night as a concerned citizen decided to embellish one of the ads on Houston Street, at a bus station shelter between Bowery and 2nd Avenue. A small act from a responsible citizen, the Lower East Side resident left text and images over the ad, clearly displaying that you can in fact, be too thin. Watch the video below:

Indeed, the very dangerous physical complications arising from eating disorders are well known, and include death. Responding to the criticisms via Twitter, Pretzel Crisps insisted they are just "using the word ‘thin’ in a creative way to describe our product," and people are "interpreting [the ads] in their own way."

An email to Pretzel Crisps looking for further comment on the growing criticism surrounding the ads was not immediately returned. Passersby who witnessed the action last night all offered their vocal approval; some even stopped to say thanks.

UPDATE: Perry Abbenante, Vice President of Marketing at Snack Factory LLC, maker of Pretzel Crisps, responds. In addition to repeating the same statements the company has made on their Twitter account, Perry explained that they have been monitoring the situation, and will be "making some adjustments to the campaign."
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.
NYC The Blog asked for clarification on just what kind of adjustments they plan on making, will update when we hear back.

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