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Judging a mag by its cover (and its ads)

The editor of Fairlady, Ann Donald, says that they will no longer be accepting ads for miracle weight-loss products.
Despite the substantial loss in ad revenue, Donald says that it is "intolerable for women's magazines to preach self-acceptance in their editorial but to relentlessly affirm unhealthy thinness on their covers and accept highly questionable advertising." [ADvantage, January 2004]

You can sometimes tell more about the ethics of a publication from their ads rather than their articles. Fairlady should be commended for putting their money where their mouth is, unlike some others, like YOU Magazine, which is quick and eager to expose the fast-buck artists while still carrying their ads.
Comment
nbs
Nice One-
Much respect - this is awesome!!!
Posted on 10 Feb 2004 11:27
K. moss
Save money on sweets-
I think that we start advertising these slimming products on the inside of chocolate wrappers instead of in magazines and on the shopping channel. This would benefit us all, chocolates would become cheaper as the manufactures will able to discount the price of their chocolates with the advertising revenue that they would be earning from the slimming product advertising, we would all eat more chocolate as they would be cheaper and there would end up being a lot more people needing the slimming products. Everybody wins! Now all we need is a product that GUARANTEES weight loss.
Posted on 10 Feb 2004 13:24
thins out
At last someone is doing this-
Thank heavens - with so many friends falling ill to bad diets. I support Fair Lady's decision. Congratulations! t
Posted on 10 Feb 2004 17:14
Anonymous
Well done!-
At last there's someone that has the necessary conviction to say no to an industry that thrives on lies!
Posted on 11 Feb 2004 07:22
Geock
Take it one step further-
Well done, this is a brilliant idea! Take it one step further: have a regular feature on healthy living (including responsible weight loss)and growing as a person. There is a lot of discrimination against 'large' women. Maybe this could be the start of a whole new awareness: you don't have to be skinny to have a life.
Posted on 11 Feb 2004 08:16
marlette
bloody well done-
Bravo! It is about time that someone takes a stand against the lies of these 'miracle cures'. Despite the fact that there is some remote truth to the physiological effects of these products - even though the actual content levels are to low to warrant any statistical claims - advertisers have completely distorted the truth. Angling it to the extent where it taps into that core of emotional uncertainty that most [if not all] women have about the way they look. The advertising revenue feeds off of insecurity & heart ache, not healthy living. Again, well done!
Posted on 11 Feb 2004 09:03
Growlinc
Yeah i agree totally-
I reckon it's best left for the glomail adverts and not in our magazines that we buy for the sole purpose of not watching the television but to sit quietly and read once in a while. Only thing we need now is better program management and schedule layouts aswell as a seperate channel for glomail and the like.
Posted on 11 Feb 2004 09:44
Melinda
Weigh to go-
Hats off to Fair Lady magazine for making this decision. A while back i remember reading an article in one of the popular women's magazine (it might even have been fair lady) talking about women's self esteem, being overweight, fad diets and slimming supllements not working, etc. Unfortunately it all just seemed like hot air, after paging over and seeing an advert for a product the journalist had just been complaining about. My first thought was how could a magazine almost prostitute themselves by selling space to advertise a product which offers false hope, and often endangers the health of the person using it! And especially after just discussing the very product Congratulations to all at fair Lady for making this decision
Posted on 11 Feb 2004 09:47
Andy Ray
When is it classed as "MIRACLE"?-
If people want to lose weight they - normally - want to lose it fast. Therefore, you want a period of rapid weight loss. It should normally be followed, by some kind of metabolic adjustment and then some lifetime maitenance. Any of the powders, with - who knows what contents - in them, should be in this category. If there is a track record, even better - then I would recommend people use it and that they are allowed to advertise. However, what are the guidelines, in terms of what is miracle. Eating programs (as opposed to diets) are (in some cases) medically sound and tested, yet they offer 'miracle' weight loss. So what are the guidelines. Magazines are strange in their make-up. Normally some reasonably well defined, good looking model on the front. The layouts (some paid for) depict thin models and clothing that looks great. Then there are cooking and meal tips that are soaked in oil,fried steaks, cream etc. THen there are articles telling you to be happy with yourself, no matter how you look - You must feel happy and some inner peace and then there are the adverts guarenteeing weightloss. Miracle or not! Well lets see where it goes?
Posted on 11 Feb 2004 12:06
David Mwanambuyu
Good riddance-
These ads are mischievous and very misleading.I hope television stations will follow suit.
Posted on 11 Feb 2004 15:15
lex
Its a start-
Well done, Fairlady. For taking a step that should have been taken years ago. The power of the blind eye. Now lets see some integrity with a more realistic depiction of what healthy women look like. On the educational side, if people want to lose weight - they should consider eating an intake proportionate to that of their bodily needs. A simple visit to a nutritionist should ascertain this. Any normal person with a healthy relationship with food instinctively knows how to regulate their eating habits. People who have a pathological relationship with food are prone to looking for quick fixes and these are the people who are susceptible to "slimming" cures. Its the equivalent of advertising alcohol to addicts. So we aren't talking choice here. People with eating disorders abuse food as a means to cover up feelings they'd rather not feel. A quick-fix is to eat over anything. Another quick fix would be to cure the binge by supressing your appetite. Are we seeing the insanity yet? Selling such a product is perpetuating a cycle of abuse and is in no way ethical. The irony is that weight is just a symptom of incredibly low self-esteem. So by saying to people that they need to be thinner - you literally confirm their feelings of worthlessness. I am not saying that its ok to be overweight - as this is often a health hazard, but its not ok to blindly assert that my appearance is indicative of my self-worth. Being overweight is the same as being emaciated - they are both symptoms of eating disorders. But the last way in which they are cured is through iniquitous little slimming agents. Most slimming products give you a huge kick - most contain pseudo-ephedrine (legal speed) which puts you in an altered state. Hardly how to achieve emotional and spiritual growth. For me its less about the efficacy of the product - but more about the behaviour and sickness they are condoning. Legal drug dealing. Personally I don't like reading magazines and when i do read them, I look at clothing. And i get really irrate becuase the models are stick insects. Editors, you are not only telling your readers that it is ok to stick fingers down throats, use laxatives and drugs, binge and starve - but you are also abusing models, not all, but most of whom, are clearly malnourished by providing a demand for them. ....and with that I've been seen leaving this soapbox.
Posted on 11 Feb 2004 16:03
GN
Brave move-
Excellent news. Hope the rest follow suit, especially those alleged 'health' magazines.
Posted on 11 Feb 2004 16:22
M
It's about bloody time-
It's about bloody time that editors stop contradicting themselves just for high revenue. Editors have for long fooled their readers into thinking quick fixes are the only way.
Posted on 11 Feb 2004 17:11
Anonymous
it just makes sense-
I think it is great that the mag is taking a stand on this - I believe that the ad revenue is never worth more than the message the mag is sending out.
Posted on 12 Feb 2004 07:41
Anonymous
This will ensure I keep on buying.-
Well done
Posted on 12 Feb 2004 07:50
sandi r
AT LAST THE VOICE OF REASON-
I for one, salute Fair Lady for taking this stance, especially within a competitive market, such as the female magazine industry. I, for one was extremely concerned about former Ms SA, Vanessa Carreira's weight loss ad. Youngsters follow by example and unfortunately alot of well known people buy into the quick fix weight loss solutions, which makes the person on the street think it's a viable option. The stigma attached to being overweight has a tremendous impact on one's social status, as it's generally believed that overweight people are lazy and slim people are more productive and therefore get the promotions and pay increases. I'm glad that Fair Lady has taken such a strong stance. While being overweight is a health risk, we need not be bombarded with unhealthy, unscientific propoganda, about quick weight loss potions. Anne Donald I salute you, for being pro-active in the fight against the exploitation of thousands of women's conceived body image woes. You go gurl.
Posted on 12 Feb 2004 09:26
Recovering Diet Junky
Sense at last-
I commend FairLady for this amazing move - it is brave and I hope that other womens mags follow suit. And the reasoning is sound and fair - the unhealthy body image women of today are expected to live up to is shameful. Nothing can justify the continued indoctrination of "thin is beautiful" on any level. And I hope that advertisers will rally around FairLady to show their support! I know I will glady punt their publication to all of my friends as the womens mag of choice from now on.
Posted on 12 Feb 2004 10:01
The skinny
Logical corporate move-
Advertising must align with content in a magazine not vice versa. If you have articles slaying the advertisers it just won't work. Even though these bloodsucking diet cure guys don't care where they are advertising. They actually don't care if their product goes next to an anti-diet article, they just want sales. Anyway, get rid of them, they won't be missed. Easily replaced with healthy living ads. Think Mutlivitamins and homeopathic stuff. Nice one Fair Lady, that's how to lead by example.
Posted on 13 Feb 2004 12:06
Skye
S.A.B.SEE....-
Being pretty much the broadcaster of Africa (and doing a good job of it but..), the SABC should stop bombarding us with cheap weight loss ads as well. Every night after night after night. The irony is the 'FAT cats' behind it. thanks for this facility.
Posted on 14 Feb 2004 14:46
nicholas
horribly misunderstood-
A pleasure to read about fair Lady's new decision.The complete picture of eating disorders is hugely- no pun intended - minimized and overweight as a symptom of a much deeper problem is a testament to our societies capacity for denial.Quick fixes of any form are damageing - unless medicaly indicated - and the only solution can be a lasting one.because ultimately the change in body needs to follow a change in heart.
Posted on 16 Feb 2004 20:55
Anonymous
Weigh 2 go!!-
Well done - I may consider renewing my subscription as I was brought up on Fair Lady - and quit buying it when the great short story feature was cancelled! A brave move in difficult times - but thank you for listening Ann Donald!!
Posted on 18 Feb 2004 12:16
Annie
... and leave out the stick figures!-
Wonderful news. It is great to see one magazine considering the ethics of pushing being thin versus being healthy. Would also love to see more pictures of beautiful, wholesome, and healthy sized women in magazines as well.
Posted on 18 Feb 2004 13:47
nicky6
verry faany-
haha
Posted on 18 Feb 2004 18:01
Liezel Badenhorst
Hooray Fair Lady - what about the other mags/ TV?-
Alas, the women have spoken. It is total bull that 'you can have a body like this' if you take X, Y or Z tablets/ shakes. The bodies they show in their adds were born like that (you have it in your gene's or you don't). I can become totally annorexic and I will still not look like that. We are all tired of the 'get thin and then only get a life/ respect' being shoved down our throats. I'm well padded around the but and waist and have an amazing life, thank you very much! Will any of the other fem mags have the guts to follow suite?
Posted on 19 Feb 2004 12:32
VR
Well Done!-
I think this is brilliant! I agree with Growlinc on having a dedicated channel for Glomail! Who likes getting up on a Sunday morning with a hangover from hell which gets progressivly worse when bioslim ad's are repeating themselves over and over while you are trying to nurse yourself with one of those killer hangover breakfasts? Not to mention the fact that they punt being overweight as bad bad bad! Some people are just big boned with larger than life personalities, warm smiles and a wonderful sense of humour. That doesn't make them any different to someone 6 sizes smaller! Thanks to Fairlady for allowing us to enjoy a good read without shoving new weight loss miracles in our faces! :0)
Posted on 19 Feb 2004 14:51
chris
please help, i'm looking for a speciifc ad in an SA tech magazine-
I was a model in an ad that ran in South African tech magazines. I don't know the exact date but believe that it was October, November or December 2003. November being my first guess. It was shot on Oct. 5th so it is no earlier than that. I have been unable to track down the ad and am trying to obtain a copy of it. It's a Microsoft ad. Below is a link to a image of a version of it that ran in the US but I am in the background in that one. I'd like to get one of me in the foreground for my portfolio. I'm the white guy. (http://alternapop.com/photos/infoworld_1103.jpg) If anyone could provide me with this ad, I'll reimburse you or reward you with a small amount of cash. digital or hard copy is fine. Below are the pubs I was told it ran in or will run in. Magazines: eSecure/Strategy SA Computer Magazine Computing SA Brainstorm ComputerWeek Strategist Press: The Star Cape Times Mercury Beeld Burger Sincerely, Chris Thacker
Posted on 9 Mar 2004 00:23
Anonymous
rather step back a bit-
"the start of a whole new awareness: you don't have to be skinny to have a life." You're still stuck in the zone. Some of us already have this awareness, so it wouldn't be "a whole new..." If you want regular features on "responsible weight loss", there are mags like longevity etc out there for you. Fair Lady has become the most intelligent, informative women's mag on the shelves (and fun too). Since I dumped all the other titles which were overburdening my pocket and my psyche (like longevity, femina and all those below them) I find I actually have extra space for love of myself and others in my head and my heart. Please, no articles at all on "responsible weight loss" in Fair Lady. They are as negative as anything else surrounding the diet industry.
Posted on 19 Mar 2004 10:25
AR
not for now-
Sadly, most other mags will not follow suit. Not anytime soon, anyhow. This is because any well-selling mag is doing one vital thing: listening to it's readers. We who read Fair Lady are Fair Lady's target market, and the editor has listened to us. We should congratulate ourselves for speaking up, in the same breath as congratulating the editor for listening. The other women's mags have their own targets - and their readers want other things. And, no - the bodies in the ads are not entirely the bodies the models were born with. They've been surgically "enhanced", studio-lit and photoshopped so that what you see is not what any woman you and I know was born with. Don't worry though - there's a trickle down effect which happens, and the women reading fair lady will pass their mindsets on to their daughters, who will begin reading fair lady, who will bring up daughters who might petition the likes of femina and longevity to make the change somewhere down the line.... I think there's hope..... I HAVE to think there's hope, because I have daughters.
Posted on 19 Mar 2004 10:47
Anonymous
weight loss, shampoo, beauty products and life....-
The editor of Fairlady, Ann Donald, says that they will no longer be accepting ads for miracle weight-loss products. Despite the substantial loss in ad revenue, Donald says that it is "intolerable for women's magazines to preach self-acceptance in their editorial but to relentlessly affirm unhealthy thinness on their covers and accept highly questionable advertising." [ADvantage, January 2004] OKaaay then, what about beauty products, shampoos, eyeliners, and high fashion? Does this preach self-acceptance? I don't think so. And women's mags are guilty of far worse... They're are guilty of perpetuating the gender war, of driving a wedge between men and women. Men are always portrayed as idiots in their articles, women are always given advice on how to 'deal' with 'them'. These mags preach feminism, but are in fact anti-feminism.
Posted on 23 Mar 2004 14:38
Cloudgazer
Amen-
I couldn't have said it better myself. Women's magazines are the biggest culprit in perpetuating the 'gender wars'. The magazines are all designed to make women feel 'not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough'. Buy this product, use this treatment and you wil become a slimmer prettier better you, read this article and we'll teach you how to deal with them (men). All these magazines are rubbish.
Posted on 4 May 2004 13:33
Heike
Help! Magazines needed for the analysis of the representation of women in SA magazines-
I also think this is a very progressive step! Actually, I have a request that is in some way related to this topic: I am a German student currently studying at a university in the Netherlands and I am doing research and working on a paper about the representation of feminity and ethnicity in South African women's magazines. Yet, I have a big problem, that is I am not able to get hold of any of these magazines such as Fair Lady, True Love, Sarie etc. here in Europe. Thus, I am turning to you in the hope that someone might be willing to help me out and send me some issues of one of these magazines? (I will of course return them after my paper is finished.) As the deadline for handing it in is already on January 31st, time is really pressing... So, I would be really really glad if you could help me?! Just send me an email. Thank you so much in advance!! All the best, Heike
Posted on 7 Jan 2005 20:56
Ashamed
Ethics vs profits-
A sad loss then for Fairlady if Ann has left after what the papers have described as "an apparent editorial/ commercial clash with the publisher." The article went on to say: "The move follows allegations that the publisher refused to print an exposé about beauty products as the company involved was a major advertiser in the publication, and it could have led to a loss in advertising revenue." Why is noone talking about this or are we all so entrenched in the advertising industry that we've forgotten our morals? Thank Goodness government took the decision out of the hands of the magazine and newspaper publishers with regards to cig adverts - or publishers may've had to choke over that one too.
Posted on 1 Nov 2005 14:51

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