Does Diet Pepsi's Skinny Can Send The Wrong Message?

PepsiCo has chosen New York Fashion Week to roll out its new “skinny” Diet Pepsi can, along with a campaign that says the container is a “celebration of beautiful, confident women.” That hasn’t gone over very well with advocates for people with eating disorders who called the campaign “thoughtless and irresponsible.”

According to AP, PepsiCo sees the can as a “stylish” alternative to traditional beverage packaging:

The company, a Fashion Week sponsor, is hosting a series of events to launch the new can, include collaborations with popular designers such as Charlotte Ronson and Betsey Johnson.

“Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today’s most stylish looks, and we’re excited to throw its coming-out party during the biggest celebration of innovative design in the world,” Jill Beraud, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo said in a statement.

Critics say it is nothing to celebrate.

Brand experts praised the new design but say the company may be a bit off on its sales pitch that skinny is better. The National Eating Disorders Association said it takes offense to the can and said the company’s comments are both “thoughtless and irresponsible.”

National Eating Disorders Association head Lynn Grefe told The Wall Street Journal the main issue is Pepsi’s marketing campaign, which “could trigger someone who is already vulnerable to negative body-image issues to start dieting or become more extreme in their dieting.” The company “could make it doughnut-shaped for all I care,” she said.

Diet Pepsi ‘skinny’ can stirs up big controversy [AP-Yahoo! News]
Diet Pepsi’s ‘Skinny Can’ Campaign Riles Eating Disorders Group [Health Blog – WSJ]