Feature

Is the new 'skinny' Diet Pepsi sexist?

Pepsi says its slim new diet cola can celebrates "beautiful, confident women." Some say that's a message in bad taste

The product: Just in time for New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Pepsi has introduced a new taller, skinnier can for its diet cola. PepsiCo says the new "Diet Pepsi Skinny Can" will "celebrate beautiful, confident women" and make for "the perfect complement to today's most stylish looks." Commentators, however, aren't so sure the soda's sleek new cylinder sends a positive message.
The reaction: On the surface, the new can is a smart way to "refresh" an old product, says Abe Sauer at Brand Channel. But Pepsi's marketing pitch equating "skinny" with "beautiful and confident" is a "tremendous shame." Indeed, consumers expect a more "more sophisticated argument" than this, like Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty," says Libby Copeland at Slate. Pepsi's marketing pitch is particularly tone deaf because they're tying the new can to New York Fashion Week, says Jim Edwards at BNET. That's an "event with a history of favoring women whose body types are unusual at best and so unhealthy as to be fatal at worst." Pepsi should "know better." See the can makeover for yourself:

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