Not Cool, Pepsi. Not Cool.


Are any of you also a little upset by Pepsi’s new marketing campaign for their “skinny can”? They launched it during NYC Fashion Week—a time when historically, all things tall and skinny are already being celebrated—and are calling their “slim, attractive new can” a “celebration of beautiful, confident women.”

My first thought: Are they only celebrating the slim, attractive confident ones? Something’s off in the messaging there. My second: Perhaps I’m being too persnickety or sensitive. Third thought: No, I’m not! The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) expressed their displeasure as well:

“I could care less about the shape of the can,” Lynn Grefe, head of NEDA, tells the WSJ Health Blog…It’s the Diet Pepsi media campaign that’s the problem, she says. The campaign celebrates being skinny and suggests that strong, confident women must be so. That the Skinny Can campaign is being paired with Fashion Week, an event put on by an industry that has had to address eating disorders among its model ranks, is particularly problematic, says Grefe.

This campaign won’t cause anyone to develop an eating disorder, but could trigger someone who is already vulnerable to negative body-image issues to start dieting or become more extreme in their dieting, which could eventually lead to disordered eating, says Grefe…“It is exactly that kind of thinking that has truly caused the increase in people feeling bad about themselves,” says Grefe.

The message, paired with the very-slim-looking Sofia Vergara (Jezebel cries “Photoshop!”) in the ads, just leave a bad taste in my mouth. It’s just one more thing in our culture that drives home the idea that thin=beautiful. I, for one, am tired of that message.

Any thoughts? xo…Sunny

7 Responses to Not Cool, Pepsi. Not Cool.

  1. YES that ad makes me upset! Its moral is that you can only be happy and confident if you are slim. But that is NOT true! Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

  2. I have not seen this ad campaign but I was still upset over the Super Bowl ads with the throwing the can so hard at her boyfriend that it knocks the girl off the bench…

  3. I feel like it’s been made into something it’s not, if not blown out of proportion completely. I feel like it’s crazy to try to point fingers at anything that could “trigger” a negative body image that could possibly lead to disordered eating. There’s no way to hide everything that holds that possibility. Triggers can happen anywhere at any time. All they did was make a thinner can and everyone freaks out about body image? It’s really ridiculous to me. No matter what goes on in the world, there will always be things we could consider triggers, but it’s not their responsibility to make sure they aren’t triggering negative body image, it’s individuals and parents of young girls to learn how to ignore things like this.

  4. twirlinggirl says:

    No, I don’t think that this Pepsi campaign causes eating disorders, but I do think that it’s somewhat misguided. On its own, the can redesign looks nice- bottles are constantly changing shape in order to appeal to the consumer’s eye. However, marketing the bottles as the “skinny” can, with a seriously slimmed down Sofia Vergara, during Fashion Week, expressly for WOMEN… it just seems to me that it’s too much. They’re allowed to say what they want, but to me it seems as though the campaign’s priorities are skewed and it’s just too much of a triggering thing.

  5. I was mad for about a minute and then I rolled my eyes. I’m thinking diet pepsi sales are down so the company is rolling out a new can as some way to convince women that diet soda + slim can = skinny.

    There will probably be some blow back (I’m sure stores aren’t happy the new can doesn’t fit on the shelf), and the can will probably return to normal with little fanfare.

    Well I can always hope.

  6. chris says:

    To call a tin can “skinny”, isn’t that a bit weird on more levels than the obvious flirt with models and fashion and blablabla? A skinny can, what is that anyway. Can a non organic aluminium can even be skinny? Why call it that if they don’t want people to associate it with too skinny runway models.

  7. […] Gold, founder of and author of “Food: The Good Girl’s Drug” ran a short piece about the ad on her blog — and I echo her sentiments 100%. What are your […]

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Sunny Sea Gold

About the Author

Sunny Sea Gold is a media-savvy advocate and commentator specializing in binge eating disorder, cultural obsessions around food and weight, and raising children who have a healthy body image.