Weight Watchers new WW Black campaign rolled out in Australia with a gift to reporters: a “mood light” lightbulb that you screw in before you screw. The marketing ploy is being criticized for its accompanying ad copy, not because no one would ever stop to change their lightbulb before getting it on.
The Guardian’s Bridie Jabour tweeted a photo of the promotional bulb she received, seemingly aghast at the message Weight Watchers was sending:
The copy reads:
Let’s be honest for a minute, sex is pretty damn fantastic. But if you’ve ever felt self-conscious in the sack you’re not alone – we’ve heard that more than half of women have avoided sex because they were worried about how they look.
This globe is a ‘mood light’ designed to give you a little boost in the bedroom (a PG sex toy, if you will). We hope it helps you start seeing yourself in a new light – to love how you look and love how you feel.
As Kelly Faircloth illustrated in a previous piece, many women’s insecurities come from the very advertising that used to sell WW memberships. In an attempt to correct course and connect with women using the popular self-empowerment model, they’ve come more or less full circle, implying big women can’t enjoy sex because of how they look.
A website called Mumbrella reports that senior marketing manager for Weight Watchers Rebecca Melville admits it was a mistake to send the bulbs, but for other reasons. She says, “As we launched, we launched in stages and that has fueled the conversation without context.”
Mashable received a statement from director of program and content, Martha Lourey-Bird, who said the campaign is about “falling in love with real food again, enjoying getting active and discovering how good they can feel.” Weight Watchers also attempted to clarify that the ads were based off research from Maidstone Consulting firm that indicated about a quarter of Australian women avoid sexual activity because they’re self-conscious about their bodies. Study collaborator Nikki Goldstein added to the statement, “These new statistics underline how body confidence can affect enjoyment of many facets of a woman’s lifestyle, including sexual satisfaction.”