Pinterest has become the first major social network to ban all advertisements with weight loss language and imagery, including ads that idealize or denigrate certain body types, as the platform joins a broader body-positivity movement.
What Is The New Pinterest Policy On Weight Loss Advertisements?
The National Eating Disorders Association consulted with Pinterest on the new advertising policy, which expands on the platform’s existing ad content guidelines related to weight loss products, procedures and imagery.
The new Pinterest policy prohibits:
Any weight loss language or imagery;
Any testimonials regarding weight loss or weight loss products;
Any language or imagery that idealizes or denigrates certain body types;
Referencing Body Mass Index (BMI) or similar indexes; and
Any products that claim weight loss through something worn or applied to the skin.
In April of this year, Instagram and TikTok added resources for individuals affected by eating disorders.
The body positive movement, driven in recent years by social media influencers, has led to the increased use of plus-size models and varied body types in ad campaigns as well as more inclusive messaging. Aerie, CVS, Target and Dove have earned praise for stopping the use of airbrushing in ads.
The company said the change was spurred, in part, by the recent rise in eating disorders. In November 2020, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) reported that calls were up 41% from the pandemic’s start in March. At least 30 million Americans struggle with eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, and many experts have sounded the alarm about increased risks associated with the pandemic.
Pinterest’s new policy supplements weight loss related restrictions that were already in place, which included prohibitions on:
Weight loss or appetite suppressant pills, supplements, or other products;
Before-and-after weight-loss imagery;
Weight loss procedures like liposuction or fat burning;
Body shaming, such as imagery or language that mocks or discredits certain body types or appearances; and
Claims regarding unrealistic cosmetic results.
How Should Advertisers React To Pinterest Banning Weight Loss Ads?
Digital platforms change policies often, and advertisers need to be ready. Diversification of advertising campaigns is always a smart idea, because diversification helps advertisers proactively identify and evaluate a variety of channels and platforms that can be effective at meeting advertiser objectives. Digital performance advertising through a partner like Digital Media Solutions® (DMS) can be a perfect way to diversify media channels and to de-risk media spend by paying when consumer actions are achieved instead of for media impressions.
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