Using Fatties in Marketing Campaigns Unlikely to Work, ASU Study Finds

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Kirstie Alley's Jenny Craig ad campaign. Looks like someone took a wrong turn after Cheers
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.

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?

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