A marketing stunt from diet lords Weight Watchers backfired when “mood lightbulbs” sent to Australian female journalists seemed to make a comparison between a woman’s weight and her ability to enjoy sex.
It’s the first campaign to focus on sex for the brand, and judging by reactions to the “gift,” it all feels a bit gross.
The Guardian’s Bridie Jabour was first to photograph and tweet about the lightbulb sent to her desk, asking the rather fair question, “How many people thought this was an okay idea…” and adding, “It’s just so nasty, invoking most intimate/vulnerable moments.”
The copy on the packaging explains that the lightbulb is 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,” it says.
Pretty rich considering A) Women don’t need the “help” of a dieting company to feel good about themselves “in the bedroom” and B) the brand seems to be implying that if you’re even slightly overweight you essentially hate your body (or should?) and wish to change it immediately lest you never enjoy sex for as long as you live.
Weight Watchers Black campaign seems to involve marketing the idea fat ppl don’t have optimal sex lives & would if they lost weight
— Asher Wolf (@Asher_Wolf) October 14, 2016
The stunt was the first stage in marketing the new program, Weight Watchers Black, which comes with the tagline “… helping you love sex,” and includes elements of diet, exercise and mental coaching, all worded around sex.
Senior marketing manager, Rebecca Melville, reportedly told Mumbrella that “mistakes” were made in the campaign. “As we launched, we launched in stages and that has fuelled the conversation without context,” she said. #SorryNotSorry
In a statement sent via email, Weight Watchers’ director of program and content, Martha Lourey-Bird, said the program is “about falling in love with real food again, enjoying getting active and discovering how good they can feel.”
The brand also offered research conducted in collaboration with Maidstone Consulting that states a quarter of Australian women surveyed have avoided sexual activity due to body self-consciousness.
“These new statistics underline how body confidence can affect enjoyment of many facets of a woman’s lifestyle, including sexual satisfaction,” said study collaborator Nikki Goldstein, a sexologist, in the same statement.
We’re sure a sex-focussed weight loss program that makes a direct link between your body’s appearance and your sex life is going to completely un-do that trend, ladies. Way. To. Go.