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Controversial NY Subway Ads: Drink Yourself Fat

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ThatFatGirl

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NY Daily News Article

The agency that brought you images of missing fingers and blackened lungs has a new health warning on tap - glasses filled with fat.

Billboards going up in the subway today show streams of sugary drinks turning into glistening yellow globs of human fat, mottled with blood vessels and served on ice.

It's disgusting. And that's the point, say Health Department officials who conceived the campaign to scare New Yorkers away from soda, sports drinks, bottled teas and other drinks with sugar in them.

"Just trying to be positive and encouraging doesn't always get people's attention," said Associate Commissioner Geoff Cowley.

"If you get in people's faces a bit, that does get people's attention."

The fat campaign aims to reduce obesity and diabetes by showing New Yorkers just how much sugar is in the drinks they grab off bodega and deli shelves.

A 20-ounce bottle of soda can contain 16.5 teaspoons of sugar, a 20-ounce lemon-flavored iced tea can have 14.5 tablespoons of sugar.

Even a 20-ounce bottle of a sports drink can have 7.5 teaspoons, the department says.

Agency officials hope New Yorkers - especially parents of young children and teenagers - will think twice and instead grab lowfat milk, a diet soda or just plain water.

"If you thought you were doing well because you weren't drinking a sugary soda, but you were drinking a lemon-lime drink and it turns out to have the same amount of sugar, that's shocking," said Cathy Nonas, the Health Department's director of physical activity and nutrition.

"These kinds of things are shocking to people," Nonas said. "In every age group, you see the increase in portion sizes and the number of servings."

Health surveys show between 21% and 29% of city teens drink soda daily, slurping down 360 calories that would take a 70-block walk to burn.

A companion video ad, set to be released in a few months, shows an actor pouring pure fat from a soda can into a glass - and then appearing to drink it.

"Are you pouring on the pounds?" the ad says. "Drinking one can of soda a day can make you 10 pounds fatter a year."

The ads come on the heels of other blunt city efforts to confront New Yorkers with the consequences of not following the department's health advice.

Its anti-smoking ads featured a man with a robotic voice who lost his real voice to cigarettes, as well as a woman who has lost fingers and toes in more than 20 amputations.

Next up are posters of smoke-scarred lungs that will be required to be displayed near cash registers where cigarettes are sold.

The Health Department spent $277,000 over the last three years to develop the fat campaign, using focus groups to decide that a sharp-edged approach was best.

An anonymous donor gave $90,000 to the department to post 1,500 ads in the subways for three months.
There are three different versions, each in Spanish and English, but all with the same lardy layout.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/08/31/2009-08-31_controversial_new_subway_billboards_show_human_fat_being_poured_out_of_soft_drin.html#ixzz0PmcVtjTP
 

olwen

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It's interesting how the bottle is reminiscient of a Snapple bottle, and didn't they just loose their contract as New York City's official drink? Makes me wonder what kind of underlying politics is going on with that ad. Not to mention the ick factor.
 

fffff

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I don't think a lot of people realize how unhealthy those kind of drinks are. I think if those ads could influence teenagers and especially parents with young children to put away the garbage like snapple it wouldn't be a bad thing.

I couldn't believe it when I found out a nursing major friend of mine was living off of vitamin water. That stuff is basically liquid potato chips.
 

exile in thighville

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D: this ad is gross http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/09/01/alg_fat-drinik-ad.jpg

T: true though

D: which part
the "don't" you're not my mommy part

T: the part where people are fat because of soda and they don't realize

D: who the fuck doesn't realize

T: the assumption is that you don't want to be fat which is a pretty safe assumption in this culture
lol "you're not my mommy" hi rush

D: what if people didn't mind until advertising like this spent decades making them feel like shit about it

T: it's not advertising like this it's the fashion industry if it's anything
also lots of people don't like to be unhealthy OH MY GOD THE U-WORD

D: it can't be the fashion industry because that only affects half the population
people love to be unhealthy
that's why they smoke drink and go on reality tv
it's why people start smoking to lose weight or take stacker 2

T: look soda is terrible for you and the reason it's terrible is that the shadowy multinational corporations like archer Diels midland have deftly substituted corn for sugar in absolutely everything and any ad that fights back against them is fine
smoking > being fat

D: how
smoking: french-like pretentious air of sexiness and intellect

T: fat: hideous

D: fat: sticking my dick into something that feels good

T: lol french-like
smoking: cancer maybe a lot later
fat: ugly now

D: who cares about cancer
makes your breath fucking stank

T: butt out! give that cigarette butt a throw
cigstink breath is a myth

D: is that sarcasm to mock my fatmyths

T: just like garlic
nah i've never experienced it

D: yeah garlicstink is great

_____ tasted like shit she's the only chain smoker i've been with

T: anyway i am firmly 100% for this soda advertisement tell your fat friends
i like how you guys are all I'M PROUD OF MY FAT! AIN'T NOBODY GON' TELL ME NOT TO BE FAT! TELL 'EM SISTER but then if any ad anywhere about anything suggests that fat is bad everyone squeals in wounded indignation MAH PRIDE! MAH SELFHOOD!
THINK OF THE FAT CHILDREN

D: my beef is with ads like this where there's nothing about health risks just taking general fatfear for granted ARE YOU POURING ON THE POUNDS? DON'T DO THIS
pounds != unhealthy
if it said SODA LEADS TO HEART DISEASE i'd be fine
 

Jack Skellington

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As exploitation ads go, that's actually fairly mild. But there are obviously better and more effective ways to get the point across that sodas and energy drinks are loaded with sugar and the increase in diabetes related to the over consumption of sugar is serious problem.

I think shock ads generally have the opposite effects intended and our culture are so barraged with them I think most people are just starting to tune them out.
 

tonynyc

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Wonder if Snapple will continue to be the Beverage of Choice at NYC Public Schools....

Some Past History

"Speaker Miller, Committee Chairs Jackson and Weprin, members of the City Council, thank you for the opportunity to testify today.

I am pleased that the City Council is examining how the Snapple company was selected as the sole provider of fruit juice and water to the New York City public schools, and how this choice led to Snapple's selection as the citywide vendor for other beverages.

The Snapple deal, which involves a 40 million dollar agreement with the Department of Education (DoE) and a 126 million dollar agreement with NYC Marketing, appears to have been brokered in a manner that violated both the letter and the spirit of the DoE's and the City's rules for entering into business agreements.

The City administration maintains that the process was open and fair, but all evidence points to the contrary..."

NYC Comptroller-Press Release - (2004?)

From 2006: NY Times Article

NYC Dept of Education & Snapple
 

PamelaLois

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I have to agree that the ad is kinda gross, but I don't think it's a bad thing, really. There are people who have no idea how much sugar is in soda and drink it by the quart all day long. It's nothing but empty calories. I would rather the calories I consume during the day have at least SOME benefits in them for me, some vitamins, some minerals, some phytonutrients, something. I think that's partially what the ad is about, informing people.
 

exile in thighville

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yeah, it's informing people their fat is gross and using superficial scare tactics to bully you into stop drinking soda. you don't want to be ugly and unfuckable do you? do you? then stop it you piece of shit sow.
 

SocialbFly

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yeah, it's informing people their fat is gross and using superficial scare tactics to bully you into stop drinking soda. you don't want to be ugly and unfuckable do you? do you? then stop it you piece of shit sow.
you have such colorful descriptions sometimes, and i dont mean that as a positive statement.
 

KittyKitten

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They should be promoting exercise instead. After all, back in the day, kids had cookies, high calorie drinks, etc at their school cafeteria. BUT, they were active. Now funding for PE classes has been reduced or eliminated.


Also, why are they not stressing moderation instead of abstinence from certain foods? Instead of saying "this will make you fat, you can't have that nag nag nag" or "don't drink this", they should focus on saying "yes, you can eat this, but only in moderation". Most diets fail.

Nobody likes nags.

And those diet ads turn me off.
 

KittyKitten

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NY Daily News Article

The agency that brought you images of missing fingers and blackened lungs has a new health warning on tap - glasses filled with fat.

Billboards going up in the subway today show streams of sugary drinks turning into glistening yellow globs of human fat, mottled with blood vessels and served on ice.

It's disgusting. And that's the point, say Health Department officials who conceived the campaign to scare New Yorkers away from soda, sports drinks, bottled teas and other drinks with sugar in them.

"Just trying to be positive and encouraging doesn't always get people's attention," said Associate Commissioner Geoff Cowley.

"If you get in people's faces a bit, that does get people's attention."

The fat campaign aims to reduce obesity and diabetes by showing New Yorkers just how much sugar is in the drinks they grab off bodega and deli shelves.

A 20-ounce bottle of soda can contain 16.5 teaspoons of sugar, a 20-ounce lemon-flavored iced tea can have 14.5 tablespoons of sugar.

Even a 20-ounce bottle of a sports drink can have 7.5 teaspoons, the department says.

Agency officials hope New Yorkers - especially parents of young children and teenagers - will think twice and instead grab lowfat milk, a diet soda or just plain water.

"If you thought you were doing well because you weren't drinking a sugary soda, but you were drinking a lemon-lime drink and it turns out to have the same amount of sugar, that's shocking," said Cathy Nonas, the Health Department's director of physical activity and nutrition.

"These kinds of things are shocking to people," Nonas said. "In every age group, you see the increase in portion sizes and the number of servings."

Health surveys show between 21% and 29% of city teens drink soda daily, slurping down 360 calories that would take a 70-block walk to burn.

A companion video ad, set to be released in a few months, shows an actor pouring pure fat from a soda can into a glass - and then appearing to drink it.

"Are you pouring on the pounds?" the ad says. "Drinking one can of soda a day can make you 10 pounds fatter a year."

The ads come on the heels of other blunt city efforts to confront New Yorkers with the consequences of not following the department's health advice.

Its anti-smoking ads featured a man with a robotic voice who lost his real voice to cigarettes, as well as a woman who has lost fingers and toes in more than 20 amputations.

Next up are posters of smoke-scarred lungs that will be required to be displayed near cash registers where cigarettes are sold.

The Health Department spent $277,000 over the last three years to develop the fat campaign, using focus groups to decide that a sharp-edged approach was best.

An anonymous donor gave $90,000 to the department to post 1,500 ads in the subways for three months.
There are three different versions, each in Spanish and English, but all with the same lardy layout.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/08/31/2009-08-31_controversial_new_subway_billboards_show_human_fat_being_poured_out_of_soft_drin.html#ixzz0PmcVtjTP

I don't buy that eating/drinking blank would make you gain X pounds in a year crap. Life is about compensation. It's all about caloric intake.

Yeah one day you drink a can of soda, eat a bowl of pasta, and some chicken but the next you may drink a can of soda and have fewer calories.
It will not equal to ten pounds a year! That is crazy logic.
 

Your Plump Princess

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yeah, it's informing people their fat is gross and using superficial scare tactics to bully you into stop drinking soda. you don't want to be ugly and unfuckable do you? do you? then stop it you piece of shit sow.
Ohgod.
Someone Rep This Poster for me!



My Opinion On it all:
That Ad could be a lot worse.
Unfourtunatly, it could be more decent, too.
That's actually mild, on the scale though.
[YES. I HAVE A SCALE IN MY HEAD. ]
 

ksandru

"PHAT" Not "Fat", Got It?
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Humm.. with this campaign against sugary drinks & NYC encouraging people to drink water, in reality the drinks are healthier than the water! NYC as well as other major cities have outdated water & sewage systems that are leaking into their water supplies. If you ever watch The History Channel, check out: "The Crumbling of America" documentary that addresses this issue. In some communities, people are forced to purchase bottled water because the water has been contaminated by outdated, rusted pipes. Even bottled water is suspect because studies have found that most of the "so-called" spring water you think you're drinking is really filtered. Now, I am in no way wanting to cause a panic but fact is fact. More money is being poured into pork projects rather than upgrading our water & sewer infastructure. And I agree that sugary candy, cakes & sweets existed when we were kids. Difference is 45 minutes of daily gym class & 15-20 minutes of recess kept us healthy - even us chunky kids. When schools & colleges spend money on physical education, it's more to pad up their athletic programs. Where is the funding for a non-school athlete's phys-ed program?
 

BBW Goddess Anna

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Yes, you definately hit the nail on the head there.

They should be promoting exercise instead. After all, back in the day, kids had cookies, high calorie drinks, etc at their school cafeteria. BUT, they were active. Now funding for PE classes has been reduced or eliminated.


Also, why are they not stressing moderation instead of abstinence from certain foods? Instead of saying "this will make you fat, you can't have that nag nag nag" or "don't drink this", they should focus on saying "yes, you can eat this, but only in moderation". Most diets fail.

Nobody likes nags.

And those diet ads turn me off.
 

ThatFatGirl

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I really didn't know what to say when I posted this. I would be horrified to be the unlucky fat person seated below this sign on a subway train, yet it doesn't piss me off quite the same way PETA's Save the Whales ad did.

I feel where Dan's coming from too. I'm tired of feeling hideous and disgusting. I'm tired of NYC advertising agencies and fashion editors telling me hideous and disgusting. Fat from my arms or ass cut out and poured in a glass? Sure, hideous and disgusting. Not unlike that in the ad maybe, but slice a thin person apart and what you see is pretty gnarly too.

Ksandru, I caught a few minutes of the program you're referring to on the History Channel last night. Did they mention NYC water specifically as being some of the worst? I remember not too long ago a huge campaign about it being some of the healthiest water available. Perhaps that has changed over the years.
 

Miss Vickie

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That's disgusting, both visually and verbally. I'm sure there is a better way to get their point across without attacking fat (people). Yes, we should all put away the sugary drinks and yes, we should all be aware of just what's in the foods and drinks we consume. But isn't there a better way than THIS?

Lots of reasons not to drink sweetened drinks, and many of them have nothing to do with being fat. What about dental cavities? What about diabetes? What about the total lack of nutritional value of soft drinks?

Why pick on the fat people, again?
 

MissToodles

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maybe it's me reading too much into things, but I think there's an air of classism in the ad. we all know how cheaper foods can lead to larger populations. also there is a stigma aganist the poor, including the fact they are dirty, down right disgusting. I wonder if there is double meaning in this ad, especially since there is such a great divide between the poor and wealthy in the city. by using such provocative imagery, it leads most people to believe that weight is totally in our control, much like our socioeconomic status. I wish I could express my idea better but at this time, I can't.
 

Wild Zero

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The next time I'm on the subway I'm going to have sex with one of these ads.
 

velia

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That's disgusting, both visually and verbally. I'm sure there is a better way to get their point across without attacking fat (people). Yes, we should all put away the sugary drinks and yes, we should all be aware of just what's in the foods and drinks we consume. But isn't there a better way than THIS?

Lots of reasons not to drink sweetened drinks, and many of them have nothing to do with being fat. What about dental cavities? What about diabetes? What about the total lack of nutritional value of soft drinks?

Why pick on the fat people, again?
Ok, I tried to find the video I'm thinking of, but was unsuccessful. Anyone remember the 5 Hour Energy commercial where they're spooning the amount of sugar in a soda (typical energy drink, whatever) into a cup? Now that was effective. Visually being able to see how much sugar is in what you're drinking from a bottle versus, say, how much sugar you'd put in your morning coffee, might actually be shocking to consumers and effect their decisions without being horribly offensive to any specific group of people. An ad like that would easily and effectively transfer to print.

I'll tell you, this just makes me want to grab a giant Snapple and go sit under one of these ads and stare people down. Screw you, state of New York.
 
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