Pinterest recently announced that it is banning weight loss ads. “Pinterest is the place people come for inspiration to create [a] life they love. It’s where everyone belongs — regardless of body shape or size. We’re empowering Pinners to plan for a summer and beyond without weight loss ads, so they can focus on what matters most. Beginning July 1st, 2021, we’re updating our ad policies to prohibit all ads with weight loss language and imagery,” explained Pinterest.
According to Pinterest, it is the only major platform to prohibit all weight loss ads. Pinterest said, “We’re empowering Pinners to plan for a summer and beyond without weight loss ads, so they can focus on what matters most.”
Under the new policy, the following types of content are prohibited on Pinterest:
Any weight loss language or imagery;
Any testimonials regarding weight loss or weight loss products;
Any language or imagery that idealizes or denigrates certain body types;
Referencing body mass indexes or similar indexes; and
Any products that claim weight loss through something worn or applied through the skin.
Pinterest said that it will still accept ads “promoting healthy lifestyles and habits” as well as ads for fitness services and products, so long as they don’t focus on weight loss.
Pinterest in its earlier days faced criticism for pins promoting “thinspiration” or pro-anorexia content and has taken the lead among social platforms in restricting such content. Body shaming, before-and-after weight-loss imagery and weight loss procedures like liposuction had already faced bans.
Sabrina Romanoff, a clinical psychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, says the latest decision to remove the ads can benefit users’ mental and behavioral health “because it will reduce the social comparison processes that are occurring among real consumers and unrealistic, edited and artificial ideals of what a person should look like.”
Is Pinterest The First Social Media Platform To Ban Weight Loss Ads?
Yes, Pinterest is the first platform to fully ban weight loss ads. However, Savannah Sicurella for NPR reports that Instagram and Facebook “clamped down on ads for ‘miracle’ diets and weight-loss products in 2019.”
Pinterest urged other platforms to follow suit, saying “We encourage others in the industry to do the same and acknowledge, once and for all, that there’s no thing as one-size-fits all.”
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