Chocolate Adverts Featuring Slim Models Make Women Feel Guilty
From the coquettish, curvy rabbit from the Cadbury's Caramel adverts to decades of dreamy models sensually devouring Flakes, advertisers have always taken a "sex sells" approach when it comes to marketing chocolate.
But new research suggests they may have been barking up the wrong tree.
According to the study, advertising campaigns that use slim, sexy models to market chocolate, are putting off female buyers because they remind women that they will never look as slim as that if they eat too much chocolate.
The researchers at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow asked 84 women aged 17 to 63 about their chocolate cravings and whether or not they felt guilty after eating it.
The participants were divided into three groups. The first group was shown images of slim models advertising chocolate, the second saw adverts featuring larger models and a third were not shown any images at all.
The group who had seen the adverts featuring slender models felt guiltier, and were more likely to avoid chocolate than before, whole those who had seen adverts featuring larger models felt less guilty about wanting to indulge.
Writing in the journal Appetite, the researchers said: "Chocolate advertisements often include models exemplifying an idealised female form.
"Presumably, advertisers seek to convey the implicit message that eating this sweet is somehow conducive to enhanced physical attractiveness."
They added: "Our findings indicate the use of thin models can increase craving but also increases avoidance and guilt."
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