Brickbat – Sumo Salad Ad

It was on early this morning. The start was a take off of anti-smoking advertising “Every burger is doing you damage”. Then it showed a picture of a young woman’s bottom and waist with voiceover “this is a healthy woman” then a shot of the same woman, with added muffin top and an outraged voiceover “and this is a muffin top”. So basically eat Sumo Salad.

But let’s just explore a couple of issues here. Firstly that hamburgers are doing you damage. It depends on what type of burger you are talking about. I’m guessing they mean their competitors products which can be high in fat and low in vegie serves. However, unless you are eating them every day then the occassional one as part of a healthy balanced diet probably isn’t going to do too much. Secondly – “this is a healthy woman” – perhaps, or she could be a thin woman with a lot of fat packed around her internal organs. You can’t tell. “This is a muffin top” yes, so what? The model you have used still has a waist measurement under 80cm (from looking at the ad) so that means that she is healthy too, muffin top and all. So get lost with your fat hate. Healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. And in male versions too, although you wouldn’t know it from looking at this ad. In fact Looking at this ad you would think we were all just bottoms and waists. So I’m afraid I won’t be supporting Sumo Salad. Fat shaming is not on.  Lazy advertising strikes again.


Edited to add: you can see the videos at Mumbrella. Apparently they also target man boobs and cankles.  In the comments at Mumbrella someone mentions that there is a radio ad for Subway playing on 2dayFM which tells fat people not to try and fit into last year’s swimwear, and to stay off the beach to keep Australia beautiful. Has anyone heard it? Do I have to avoid Subway too?

Categories: Culture, gender & feminism, health, media

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9 replies

  1. Damn, I liked their salads too, but no longer 😦
    eta – urgh I just looked at their website they have health messages for other normal body parts as well. Fancy women having ankles?! How disgusting, they should eat a salad…. or something….

  2. Yeah, saw the ad too. Just sickening. Hideous.

  3. The model you have used still has a waist measurement under 80cm (from looking at the ad) so that means that she is healthy too

    As best I could tell looking around last year, that metric is even shoddier than BMI as a measure of individual health. (Whatever health means in that context, it frankly seems to mean something like “likely cost of lifetime healthcare” possibly adjusted for “likely lifetime taxable income”.) It’s not adjusted even for height, except in a tiny way which is that the average height and shape of men is different so they get a different measurement. It was apparently (according to a radio segment) chosen because it’s very quick for people to measure for themselves and unlike with BMI they don’t have to do any arithmetic.

    Fat shaming is not on.


  4. Gah, another thing to be annoyed with this company for! *takes money elsewhere*
    And where the hell did they get their name from? I’ve seen what sumo wresters eat and it’s not salad! Carbs and protein yes, but not salad.

  5. I for one am avidly avoiding medieval German rulers.
    I like that they don’t even talk about the benefits of their own product – just demonise the people who presumably eat at other places. I guess because salad is something a person is shamed into eating – not enjoyable in itself, just a pennance for sins, or noble sacrifice for a higher cause. Perhaps they’re trying to give a social connotation to burgers of excess and shame the same way salad has connotations of dieting and restraint.
    Off topic, you can make excellent burger mix by whizzing up lots of dried beans and grains in a food processer, then reconsituting the bits for 15 minutes with water and soy sauce. Sometimes I add grated carrot or cheese.

  6. Is that the same Sumo that does takeaway noodles? SO brings their stuff home occasionally, it’s hideously salty and vegies are few and far between. Starch, mostly. So if that’s them, who are they to talk, even if you accepted their stupid premise?!

  7. Ugh, I just sent an email off to their customer service department this morning about this. It’s atrocious!

  8. Subway’s been fat-shaming for years now–ever since they were bought by a diet company (Doctor’s Associates Inc.). They’ve run any number of offensive ads (again, for years now–at least in the U.S.).

  9. Some things are ’round the world’ – Subway sandwich stores, I assume are the same chain as in NYC. As a wheelchair user, I have noticed that about half of the Subway stores I pass are wheelchair accessible. Saves having to decide…. (But I would like a choice.)

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