Times Square Billboard Ad On Dieting Suffers The Weight Of Internet’s Wrath

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Image via Luciano Mortula – LGM / Shutterstock.com

A new billboard advertisement encouraging the use of appetite suppressants for flatter tummies has drawn criticism from internet users, including a former anorexic.

The campaign by Flat Tummy Co—a brand that specializes in diet lollipops—sits in a highly visible area in Times Square, one of the most popular tourist hotspots in the world.

The large pastel pink image features a young woman holding two lollipops, alongside the caption, “Got cravings? Girl, tell them to #SuckIt,” and a claim that “1.5 million babes and counting” have tried the brand’s offerings.

The ad comes from the same company that drew ire in 2017 when reality star Kim Kardashian West promoted its lollipops on her Instagram.

Internet users have since banded together to call for the takedown of the billboard.

Taking to Twitter, Random House social media manager Sophie Vershbow wrote, “Hey Twitter, let’s use our power for good by guilting Flat Tummy Co into taking down their Times Square billboard advertising appetite suppressants. Love, a former-anorexic teenage girl.”

The ad received even more criticism after British television presenter Jameela Jamil shared the same photo posted by Vershbow.

“Even Times Square is telling women to eat less now? Have we actually gone mad? Why aren’t there any boys in the ad? Why is it f***ing PINK?”

While Flat Tummy Co claims its products—which also include diet teas and shakes—help to “cleanse and debloat” tummies, they’re not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so how safe they might be remains unclear.

Hey Twitter,

Let’s use our power for good by guilting @FlatTummyCo into taking down their Times Square billboard advertising appetite suppressants.

A former-anorexic teenage girl pic.twitter.com/Tiyj1fwrpD

— Sophie Vershbow (@svershbow) July 9, 2018

EVEN TIMES SQUARE IS TELLING WOMEN TO EAT LESS NOW? Have we actually gone mad? Why aren’t there any boys in the ad? Why is it fucking PINK? Because you feel men can look however they want? Their goals are to be successful. But ours are to just be smaller? Fuck off @FlatTummyCo 🤮 pic.twitter.com/douKKwedxf

— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) July 10, 2018

Sophie – I would consider filing a complaint with the FTC. They have this disclosure on their website but it is not prominently displayed (or displayed at all?) on the billboards. https://t.co/UqaOeeYFdm pic.twitter.com/3SVtdKlOD5

— nevona (@nevona) July 10, 2018

That girl looks very young. It's an ad for teens. Pink and cool. We have to talk to our girls so they understand what's in this shit and why it's NOT okay.

— marti "no, nope, fuck this" noxon (@martinoxon) July 10, 2018

@FlatTummyCo Stop normalizing disordered behavior. Thanks from a mom of two teenage girls.

— MaryElizabeth Williams (@embeedub) July 10, 2018

This is maddening and heart breaking, and daylight robbery and abuse of women’s self worth.

— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) July 10, 2018

Babes, tummy, lollipops – the infantilisation couldn't be clearer – and it shades into both targeting children in their drugs based diets, and also the sexualisation of children. Disgusting

— Sarah May (@Sarah_May1) July 10, 2018

[via Nylon, images via various sources]

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