Junkfood Science: News or advertising? Or, why haven't we seen Alli Poopy Pants?

June 16, 2007

News or advertising? Or, why haven't we seen Alli Poopy Pants?

Have you ever seen so much breathless news reporting lately? It seems every half hour we're hearing about the new over-the-counter diet pill, Alli. You’d think a cure for cancer had been discovered.

We knew that the company had earmarked $150 million in marketing to give it a big send off, but few of us probably realized just how much coverage that buys. The Los Angeles Times to ABC News has reported that the drug is creating a “feeding frenzy,” with the pills supposedly flying off store shelves. Interestingly, however, most customers have been reported to be thin, eager to shave off a few more pounds, perhaps because fat people know that the promised 5 pounds after a year of dieting and exercise won’t really matter.

The accuracy of these news stories about blockbuster sales isn’t known and could be part of efforts to create the illusion of the bandwagon effect — a popular advertising tactic to convince us of a product’s popularity. “Everybody’s doing it, you should, too!”

In contrast, we hear that there is one Alli commercial no media will yet air: Alli Poopy Pants! :)

You can watch it here.
(And my readers know this isn't an endorsement for the competing diet pill, either. LOL!)

We haven’t seen that embarrasing moment for a Hollywood starlet captured by the paparazzi, yet. :)

PS. It appears the company may already be concerned about disappointed customers and trying to pre-emptively make a jury case. Another common theme appearing in recent news stories is warning that these pills could provide an excuse for people to continue to eat fattening foods, if people don’t change their ways and adopt healthy eating and lifestyle habits, then they’ll just regain the weight once they stop taking the pills. As if that won’t happen anyway, but they'll have made their case that it's the customers’ fault. The argument makes little sense, too, because as even they warn, you can't eat fatty foods while taking this pill, or you, too, will have Alli Poopy Pants!

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