Nutrisystem’s “Real Customers. Real Success” pinboard faced a different kind of reality when the Council of Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division asked the weight loss program to put the same disclosers on its Pinterest ads as it does on its television and print ads.
Not to be confused with the controversial “thinspiration” boards that have also circulated on the image-sharing site, Nutrisystem’s board shows testimonials from healthy men and women who reportedly lost a reasonable amount of weight with the program’s prescribed diet of prepackaged meals. On the pins were the customers’ names, “after” pictures, and number of pounds lost.
Though advertisers do not pay to use Pinterest, NAD ruled that the social curation site was enough of a marketing tool to warrant the proper disclosures on Nutrisystem’s pins, which now read, “Results not typical. On Nutrisystem®, you can expect to lose at least 1-2 lbs per week. Individuals are remunerated. Weight lost on prior Nutrisystem® program.”
According to NAD, Nutrisystem didn’t put up much of a fight:
Upon receipt of NAD’s inquiry, the company asserted that necessary disclosures were inadvertently omitted from Pinterest. The advertiser stated that the testimonials at issue had appeared on Pinterest for less than two months, and said the disclosures were added immediately upon receipt of NAD’s letter.
Pinterest’s template is not exactly built for these kinds of products, though. On other ads, the disclosure marked in brackets would appear much smaller.