Pinterest Advertising Bans Weight Loss Ads. Pinterest adds weight loss-related advertisements to their already-banned list, as research from the National Eating Disorders Association indicates a dramatic increase in unhealthy eating patterns during the epidemic, and Pinners embrace radical self-acceptance.
The National Eating Disorders Association’s helpline reported a 40% rise in call volume linked to mental health and eating disorder difficulties in 2020, compared to the previous year. In light of that evidence, as well as more recent developments on Pinterest, the site revised its regulations to prohibit all ads containing images or language associated with weight reduction.
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“As our network of Pinners expands, so do a search”As our community of Pinners grows, so do searches for healthy eating, healthy living, and fitness inspiration. We will continue to provide useful and relevant content to individuals who seek it, while restricting content that demonstrates, rationalizes, or encourages eating disorders and other forms of self-injury. For instance, anytime Pinners search for keywords associated with eating disorders, we filter the results and refer them to professional organizations such as NEDA where they may get more resources. Additionally, Pinterest offers a selection of emotional well-being activities created by specialists in the field, which are accessible straight from our mobile app and website. Pinners may just search for “#Pinterest wellbeing” to learn how to practice gratitude and self-compassion, as well as other interactive practices that can help them improve their mood.”
Pinterest had previously prohibited advertisements that included any of the following:
Pills, supplements, or other goods for weight loss or appetite suppression;
Before-and-after images of weight loss;
Procedures for weight loss such as liposuction or fat burning;
Body shaming, includes images or language that ridicules or denigrates specific body shapes or appearances; and Claims involving implausible cosmetic outcomes.
The revised policy, which prohibits all weight loss-related advertisements, now includes the following:
Any phrase or imagery associated with weight loss;
Any testimonies pertaining to weight loss or the use of weight-loss products;
Any language or imagery that exaggerates or minimizes the virtues of particular physical shapes;
Using the Body Mass Index (BMI) or comparable metrics; and Any product that makes the claim of promoting weight loss by the use of something worn or applied to the skin Pinterest continues to allow advertisements encouraging healthy lifestyles and behaviors, such as fitness products and services, as long as they do not push weight loss. This is a critical adaptation since many young people were cut off from their typical routines and hobbies during the pandemic, which may have been their primary source of exercise. Now, those same young individuals are under pressure to reconnect with their social groups after nearly 15 months away or separated, and many are facing increased body image issues.
Interim CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association, Elizabeth Thompson, stated:
“NEDA applauds this critical step toward promoting the mental health and well-being of Pinners, particularly those effected by diet industry, negative body image, and disordered eating. We believe that this worldwide policy will encourage other organizations and businesses to consider potentially damaging advertising messages and to implement their own policies that result in genuine change.”
The shift makes sense for Pinterest, where the majority of users visit to be inspired, discover new ideas, and seek out optimism. This has long been a distinguishing feature of Pinterest, which is regarded as a positive space by more than 90% of users. Pinterest has previously indicated that favorable online environments have a “halo effect” on the businesses that appear there, which essentially implies that people are more responsive, trusting, and optimistic about them.
Additionally, Pinterest highlighted a search trend that supports the radical self-acceptance movement of body neutrality:
The number of searches for “quotes on a healthy mentality” has increased by a factor of 13 over the previous year.
“Body neutrality” and “stop body-shaming quotations” have increased fivefold in popularity.
Quotes about body acceptance have increased sevenfold, and “self-love illustration art” has gained 63 times in popularity.
To further highlight the trend, Pinterest will include Idea Pins from creators worldwide on the Today Tab throughout the week to exhibit how they are “reimagining their relationship with their bodies.”
Pinterest has been a stalwart defender of brand and consumer safety. Their efforts were recently recognized by brands when TAG bestowed a brand safety certificate on Pinterest, which requires the platform to adhere to stringent requirements. Additionally, Pinterest has announced its intention to join the Global Alliance for Responsible Media by the end of 2020, as well as the launch of a dedicated Brand Safety Hub outlining the platform’s multi-year commitment to keep Pinterest a safe space for companies.
Pinterest is emphasizing the necessity of appropriate policymaking by revealing its own timeline of action and commitment to future measures in order to urge others in the industry to join the push toward brand and consumer safety.
Pinterest Newsroom, Retrieved.
Similar body-positivity and acceptance trends have gained traction across social media platforms, making it impossible for marketers to ignore the shift in customer attitudes. This shift provides businesses with an opportunity to examine their own current messages and join their audiences in focusing on the positive for a change.