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Pinterest says it's the 1st major platform to ban ads with weight loss language, imagery

Posted at 4:41 PM, Jul 02, 2021

Pinterest announced Thursday that it’s updating its advertising policies to prohibit all ads with weight loss language and imagery from its website.

Pinterest cited the challenges related to body image and mental health that many people of all ages face, particularly as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, Pinterest’s updated policy prohibits any weight loss language or imagers, any testimonials regarding weight loss or weight loss products, any language or imagery that idealizes or denigrates certain body types, referencing body mass index (BMI) or similar indexes, and any products that claim weight loss through something worn or applied to the skin.

The company says it’s the only major platform to prohibit all weight loss ads, and the change is an expansion of its ad policies that have prohibited body shaming and dangerous weight loss products or claims.

Pinterest said in its announcement that it’s encouraging others in the social media industry to do take similar actions and to acknowledge “that there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all.”

“Pinterest is the place people come for inspiration to create life they love. It’s where everyone belongs—regardless of body shape or size,” wrote Pinterest. “We're empowering Pinners to plan for a summer and beyond without weight loss ads, so they can focus on what matters most.”

Pinterest said ads promoting healthy lifestyles and habits or fitness services and products will still be allowed on its website as long as they don’t focus on weight loss.

The company said its policy change was developed with the guidance and advice of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

“The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) applauds Pinterest for taking a leadership position as the first platform to prohibit all ads with weight-loss language and imagery. NEDA is encouraged by this necessary step in prioritizing the mental health and well-being of Pinners, especially those impacted by diet culture, body shaming, and eating disorders. We are hopeful this global policy will encourage other organizations and companies to reflect on potentially harmful ad messages and to establish their own working policies that will create meaningful change," said Elizabeth Thompson, Interim CEO for the National Eating Disorders Association.