Pinterest bans all weight loss ads to join wider positivity movement

Pinterest is banning ads with weight loss language and imagery, joining in on a wider body positivity movement. Ads with testimonials regarding weight loss or weight loss products, any language or imagery that idealises or denigrates certain body types, and ads that reference Body Mass Index or similar indexes are prohibited. Additionally, any products that claim weight loss through something worn or applied to the skin are also banned. 

These new guidelines are in addition to ad content that is already banned from the platform, including weight loss or appetite suppressant pills, supplements, before-and-after weight loss imagery, weight loss procedures such as liposuction or fat burning, and body shaming. The latest move is an expansion of Pinterest's ad policies that have long prohibited body shaming and dangerous weight loss products or claims. 

Ads promoting healthy lifestyles and habits or fitness services and products will still be allowed, as long as they do not focus on weight loss. Pinterest worked with the National Eating Disorders Association in the US to develop the policy. 

Meanwhile, Pinterest's head of policy, Sarah Bromma, told the Wall Street Journal that the company has constantly worked to reduce potentially harmful or negative content from impacting users' experience. It has also taken steps to reduce the spread of inaccurate or harmful information on Pinterest. She added that the updated policy is only applicable to ads on Pinterest's platform.

Pinterest's latest move no doubt doubles down on its commitment to body positivity. It joins brands such as Unilever, that have pledged to support this cause. Earlier this year, Unilever eliminated the word "normal" from all of its beauty and personal care brands’ packaging and advertising, in line with its Positive Beauty vision and strategy. This decision was one of the steps Unilever is taking to “challenge narrow beauty ideals and work towards helping to end discrimination and advocating for a more inclusive vision of beauty”.

Just last month, Unilever also expanded its 2016 commitment to Unstereotype with "Act 2 Unstereotype" and seeks to make real, structural changes to the entire marketing process and provoke and integrate more diverse and inclusive thinking across every brand, from advertising production to new product development. Among the list of actions it will take include provoking inclusive thinking across the end-to-end marketing process from consumer insight, brand DNA and proposition, marketing mix development, creative development, behind the camera and on-screen portrayals. 

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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