Controversial lollipop ad goes up in Times Square
Giant billboards hawking appetite suppressant lollipops in Times Square have sparked outrage from critics who say the ads are sending a dangerous message to young women.
The flak is over Flat Tummy Co. — a Kim Kardashian-endorsed brand that claims its lollipops, shakes and teas “help control your food intake, cravings and weight.”
“EVEN TIMES SQUARE IS TELLING WOMEN TO EAT LESS NOW? Have we actually gone mad?” British actress Jameela Jamil erupted on Twitter Tuesday. “Why aren’t there any boys in the ad? Why is it f–ing PINK? Because you feel men can look however they want? Their goals are to be successful. But ours are to just be smaller? F— off @FlatTummyCo.”
The massive ad is featured prominently above Mama Sbarro’s restaurant on the corner of Broadway and West 49th Street.
“Got cravings? Girl, tell them to #SUCKIT,” it reads, with a photo of a young woman holding a green and a red lollipop to her mouth.
A smaller billboard touts “1.5 million BABES and counting” and points to the company’s Instagram account.
A candid user called on the Twittersphere to rally behind getting the ad removed.
“Hey Twitter, Let’s use our power for good by guilting @FlatTummyCo into taking down their Times Square billboard advertising appetite suppressants. Love, A former-anorexic teenage girl,” tweeted Sophie Vershbow.
Another woman noted, “FFS. Pink? Lollipop? ‘1.5m Babes and counting’? #suckit? In Times Square? Your success depends on a flat tummy, women of the world! Atrocious.”
The backlash also spilled onto Flat Tummy Co.’s Instagram account.
“How can you say you are empowering girls by telling them not to eat?” wrote @agostinaele on a post promoting a flash sale of the lollipops. “Your entire campaign is aimed at women because women are always told they must be smaller/thinner/less while men can look however they want. YOU are the problem. Anyone working for this company should feel ashamed. You are disgusting.”
The company fired back, “we def aren’t promoting not eating, our pops are designed to help reduce junk food cravings in between meals, to avoid boredom eating. We definitely recommend still eating meals normally. For all the details check out flattummyco.com.”
In May, Kardashian was roasted for pushing the weight-loss candies to her 114 million followers on Instagram.
“#ad You guys… @flattummyco just dropped a new product. They’re Appetite Suppressant Lollipops and they’re literally unreal. They’re giving the first 500 people on their website 15 percent OFF so if you want to get your hands on some… you need to do it quick! #suckit,” Kardashian captioned the photo of her sucking on a lollipop.
Jamil, who stars in NBC’s show “The Good Place,” slammed the 37-year-old mom of three as a “toxic influence on young girls.”
“No. F–k off. No. You [are a] terrible and toxic influence on young girls. I admire their mother’s branding capabilities, she is an exploitative but innovative genius, however this family makes me feel actual despair over what women are reduced to,” Jamil tweeted.
“MAYBE don’t take appetite suppressors and eat enough to fuel your BRAIN and work hard and be successful. And to play with your kids. And to have fun with your friends. And to have something to say about your life at the end, other than ‘I had a flat stomach,’” she added.
Flat Tummy Co. couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
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