A researcher at Arizona State University found that ads featuring plus-sized models are unlikely to work on their intended audiences: fatties.
Sorry, Kirstie Alley, the Jenny Craig endorsement buffet may be coming to an end.
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Naomi Mandel, an associate marketing professor at ASU, has been researching the relationship between body size and marketing and found that using chubsters in ad campaigns lowers womens' self-esteem and makes them less likely to buy a product.
"We believe it is unlikely that many brands will gain market share by using heavy models in their ads," Mandel says. "We found that overweight consumers demonstrated lower self-esteem -- and therefore probably less enthusiasm about buying products. Also, normal-weight consumers experienced lower self-esteem after exposure to moderately heavy models, such as those in Dove soap's 'Real Women' campaign, than after exposure to moderately thin models."
Similarly, the use of emaciated, bulimic-looking beauties in ad campaigns could potentially make women develop an eating disorder, Mandel's research found.
That being the case, would throwing Kate Moss in a Weight Watchers ad cause women to lose weight without even buying the product?