If you thought the saga of the thinspiration Pretzel Crisps ad ended when the company agreed to take down the offending ads, you were wrong. Because it turns out the company is construing its promise rather... narrowly.
The reader who sent in the original photo of the ad reading, "You can never be too thin," noted that yesterday it was taken down — only to be replaced by this:
Surely there was some sort of mistake here, a miscommunication or a time lag in the implementation of this welcome corporate move. This second ad is, after all, another slogan in the same campaign, one that is actually a mantra used among anorexics. Last fall, Kate Moss was widely criticized for repeating it. Just last month, Perez Hilton, no beacon of sensitivity, actually pulled t-shirts he had with that slogan, saying he had done so because "didn't want to encourage anyone to possibly be anorexic."
But apparently that still needs to be explained to Pretzel Crisps' marketing people, because when we reached out to Pretzel Crisps' Perry Abbenate, who has been fairly responsive to bloggers after widespread complaints, this is what he told us:
We took down the "You can never be too thin" ads because some people took offense to them and we didn't want anyone thinking we advocate anorexia or want to promote bad body image. We do have three other ads up right now, but those were never part of the debate.
While dialoging with some of the bloggers, I mentioned that ‘you can never be too thin' was just one of four tag lines that we had running throughout the city. The others were: Perfect for skinny dipping; Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels and There's a new star in the Garden, which references the fact that our products are sold at Madison Square Garden and we have a new package design. The only one that people commented on was the ‘too thin' ad. So we removed them and replaced them with one of the other three.
Willfully dense or in need of even more education? In case it's the latter, sir, please see above.
Update:: And the answer is, willfully dense! Stephanie Marcus, who's been reporting out this story as well, writes to say that she discussed all four slogans with Abbenate this week. "I asked him if he was aware that ["nothing tastes as good as skinny feels"] too was considered to be a "thinspiration" motto used by the pro-anorexic community. His response was more of the same explanation that they were a small company and need to catch people's attention and then went on to say that at least there were no models in bikinis or something to that extent... It's surprising that he had the gall to think that ad wasn't as equally irresponsible."
Earlier: Pretzels Tastefully Marketed To Eating-Disordered Demographic
Pretzel Crisps Backs Off Pro-Ana Ads
Kate Moss: "Kate Moss "Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels" Backlash
Perez Pulls Pro-Ana Shirts
Images via K. Knipfing