Weight Watchers Australia Is Being Criticized by Twitter for Their Unusual Marketing

October 18th 2016

Almie Rose

Weight Watchers is being accused of body-shaming thanks to their latest campaign and unusual promotion.

Bridie Jabour, an assistant news editor at the Guardian Australia, tweeted an image of the promotional item Weight Watchers sent her as part of their new "Weight Watchers Black" campaign.

It's a light bulb that comes in a box reading the following:

"Let’s be honest for a minute, sex is pretty damn fantastic. But if you’ve ever felt self-conscious in the sack you're not alone – we've heard that more than half of women have avoided sex because they were worried about how they look.

This globe is a 'mood light' designed to give you a little boost in the bedroom (a PG sex toy, if you will). We hope it helps you start seeing yourself in a new light – to love how you look and love how you feel."

But Twitter was not "loving" how this promotion was making them feel, which was supremely body-shamed.

About the new Weight Watchers campaign, Weight Watchers Black.

The campaign, which appears to be in Australia and New Zealand only, focuses on the slogan "See Yourself In A New Light" (hence the light bulb). In their YouTube ad, a woman voice-overs how unhappy she feels about her body.

"After having kids, everything looks different ... I hated the way I look ... I really couldn't get in the moment," the woman says in the ad, as floating text proclaims, "You can leave the light on."

It's clear the intentions are good (which seem to be, "you should love your body") but the message is muddled ("but wait, here's flattering lighting so you don't have to actually see your body").

"The light bulb might not have made sense."

According to Mumbrella, a website about Australian media and marketing, Weight Watchers regrets sending the light bulbs, but not their overall message:

"Weight Watchers' senior marketing manager, Rebecca Melville, admitted the light bulb might not have made sense without the context of the campaign, leading some people to feel offended.

'As we launched, we launched in stages and that has fuelled the conversation without context,' Melville told Mumbrella."

Even so, those on Twitter seem to think the ad campaign simply misses the mark.

In an email to ATTN:, a Weight Watchers spokesperson told us:

"The campaign was developed by Weight Watchers Australia for that market only and was intended to generate conversation around a topic that had surfaced among its members. The goal was to dispel the notion that people are alone in feeling this way and to shift the conversation from one of shame and negative self-talk to one of body positivity and empowerment. That said, we recognize that the teaser campaign fell flat and that the execution did not make that message clear, and the campaign has been discontinued."

[h/t Jezebel]

Update: 10/19 9:02 a.m. PST: This story was updated to include a response from a Weight Watchers spokesperson.