Yoplait's controversial 'eating disorder' ad
The yogurt maker yanks a cheesecake-guilt-themed commercial after complaints that it hit dangerously close to home for people with eating disorders
The video: General Mills pulled a TV ad for Yoplait cheesecake-flavored yogurt after the National Eating Disorders Association complained that it taunts people with disorders like bulimia and anorexia. The ad begins with a woman's inner monologue as she stares at a cheesecake in the office fridge. She bargains with herself: "What if I just had a small slice. I was good today... or I could have a whole slice and jog in place while I eat it." Finally, she opts for cheesecake-flavored yogurt instead, after being tipped off by a thinner colleague. (Watch the ad below.) NEDA president Lynn Grefe says she fielded lots of complaints from eating-disorder sufferers. What they saw in the ad, Grefe says, is "see, it's even on TV. It's OK and normal for my head to go through all these mental exercises."
The reaction: I don't know "what's more stunning," says Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon. That Yoplait actually ran this "dangerous" and "perverse" ad, or the pervasive "dysfunctional thinking" that it's natural for women of all sizes to be guilt-plagued, food-fetishizing calorie-counters who "careen from Restriction Village to... Binge Town." Given all the hubbub, Yoplait was "probably wise to stick a fork in" the ad, says David Gianatasio at Adweek. But honestly, "I didn't really see the big deal." Judge for yourself: