NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Diet Pepsi’s new “skinny” can is getting noticed in The Big Apple.
The beverage company introduced the new can at Thursday’s Fashion Week kickoff, but some critics are giving it a big, fat “no.”
The can is a “taller, sassier” version of the traditional can that the company says was made in “celebration of beautiful, confident women.” It’s Pepsi’s equating of “skinny” and “beautiful” and “confident” is drawing criticism.
The company, a Fashion Week sponsor, is hosting a series of events to launch the new can, include collaborations with popular designers such as Charlotte Ronson and Betsey Johnson. It will be available to consumers nationwide in March.
Jill Beraud, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo said in a statement that “our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today’s most stylish looks, and we’re excited to throw its coming-out party during the biggest celebration of innovative design in the world.”
Critics say that sales pitch is nothing to celebrate.
The company’s push may offend some consumers who don’t back the “skinny is better” ethos. Brand critics praised the new design but say the company may be a bit off on its sales pitch.
The National Eating Disorders Association said it takes offense to the can and said the company’s comments are both “thoughtless and irresponsible”.
Libby Copeland summed up many of the criticisms in as article for Slate.
“Same old story — aspirational, looks-oriented advertising with a thin layer of faux-empowerment on top,” Copeland wrote.
“If you’re confident on the inside, you’ll be skinny on the outside, or something. Huh?”
Pepsi said that can and its campaign are focused on design. The company also said it is using the term “skinny” in multiple formats.
“It’s almost a double-entendre,” said Andrea Canbal, a spokeswoman for Pepsi. “With this notion of ‘getting the skinny’ we are giving them the latest on fashion trends at shows.”
The company will take its campaign one step further on Feb. 28 when it launches a print advertisement for the new can featuring the buxom actress Sofia Vergara.
Pepsi says it will continue to sell its traditional-sized can.
What do you think of the new can? Sound Off and share your comments below!
By Sarah Skidmore, AP Food Industry Writer Copyright 2011 The Associated Press