Tag Archives: marketing

Leaning In to Get Lean: Meet the Rare Female CEOs in the Diet Industry

female-CEO

By Shae Blevins

The 2014 Fortune 500 List included 24 female CEOs – the most in history – and the United States elected a record-setting 100 women to the 113th Congress. Women are making their move!

But a lack of female leadership is still evident in the industry that targets American women most: Wellness. That’s the $20 billion industry that encompasses diet, fitness, and weight loss. It’s an industry where 85% of the consumers are women, and the grand majority of executive leadership — from CEOs to boards — are male. That’s right, there are dudes perched at the brands that prominently lead the industry – from the girl-powered Jillian Michaels to the all-inclusive Weight Watchers.

Fortunately, there are a few brands breaking the industry norm with female CEOs. It’s been two years since industry giant Nutrisystem appointed its first female CEO, and the brand is seemingly better for it. And most recently, Retrofit replaced its CEO with a woman. One feather in this hat was lost last December, when Dana Fiser left her two-year reign as CEO at Jenny Craig.

Meet the three shining female stars blazing trails in wellness: (more…)

The Essential Oils Trend Stinks! See What Really Works and When This New Health Coup Gets Dangerous

lavender essential oil

If you haven’t heard by now, then shame on you for not knowing that all aches, pains, and discomfort can be instantly cured by essential oils…at least that’s what ALL of your friends are probably telling you on social media. So what’s the deal on this newest trend anyway? As with most overnight miracle cures, you can should try to punch out the holes in the claims before literally buying in to it.

Where Can I Buy Essential Oils?

Communities are popping up everywhere filled with “distributors” of various essential oil brands promoting the extremely exaggerated claims that these oils remedy everything from menstrual cramps to split ends. Did you just get stabbed in the stomach with a sword? A little dab of elderberry oil will heal that up by dinnertime!

Keep in mind, many of these “distributors” have signed up to sell these concentrated liquids simply because they can now purchase God’s gift to humanity for a tiny bit less than a small fortune per bottle. But it’s OK, because the moment any friend posts a status regarding a minor ailment (“My appendix burst! What should I do?”), they are now self-appointed natural healing masters here to bestow their wisdom upon us all (“Oh sweet child, massage myrrh and lavender oils on your temples while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Your appendix will sew itself back together!”).

Now I will go mix up a blend of ginger, tea tree, and lemon oil to cure my sarcasm and bad attitude…

Try This: Oil Pulling: Is It Legit?

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Instagram Feeds Hamburglarized by McDonald’s and Nobody is Lovin’ It

McD Instagram

Hey McDonald’s! Get Your Garbage Food Out of My Instagram Feed!

We’ve known they were coming, but sponsored posts have finally landed right smack dab in the middle of what may be my favorite social media channel.

“It’s quiet over there” I wrote of Instagram recently, when a friend was questioning the medium’s purpose.

That’s been disrupted. Our site gets its bread and butter from ads, so we’re not hating on Instagram for making some dough. But, Instagram… McDonald’s… know your audience! We, along with thousands of others, are raging against the cheap hamburger machine because no amount of food styling is good enough to make that FrankenFood desirable.

Instagram, you’ve got highly capable technology holding up that back end. You know what I post. A lot of food? Yes. I post a lot of food. Has it once ever been of a fast food burger?

Not a hamburger-flippin’ chance. (more…)

The Biggest Loser Resort in Utah Cites a “Relationship Breakdown” for Changing Name Back to Fitness Ridge

fitness-ridge-utah

The original Biggest Loser Resort in Ivins, Utah is moving away from the Biggest Loser brand and going back to its roots as Fitness Ridge, as originally founded in 2002. Co-founder Cameron Kelsch said of the change:

“We have always had a great program but we really just want to focus on the qualities that differentiate Fitness Ridge. We want to change the way people feel about health and wellness and we feel we can do that better by moving way from The Biggest Loser brand. As we look forward to [the] change, our staff remains focused on improving the health and well-being of the world, one person at a time.”

We spoke to Phillip Craven, a spokesman for Fitness Ridge, and asked why they felt the rebranding and move away from The Biggest Loser model was needed. Craven said that, although the company did experience additional exposure and growth as a result of the affiliation, they lost control of what made the destination unique to them and what they’d envisioned it to be. He continued by speaking of the relationship breakdown that happened between Fitness Ridge and The Biggest Loser by saying:

“In that way, there was a relationship breakdown. Our focus has been and always will be helping people eat, exercise and think differently. As The Biggest Loser started to stray from our focus, we saw the need to stay true to ourselves, so a rebranding became inevitable.” (more…)

Kirstie Alley’s Organic and GMO Food Beliefs Don’t Align With New Jenny Craig Partnership

Kirstie Alley is back at Jenny Craig. That’s the big celebrity diet news of the week, and Kirstie is loud and proud about it. Would you expect anything less from her?kirstie alley

She’s “excited” to be back at Jenny Craig, saying she missed her consultant. It’s undoubtedly her most lucrative partnering with the brand yet. She spent much of the early part of the decade as the spokeswoman for Jenny Craig, losing a lot of her highly publicized weight. She left in early 2008, citing a desire to create her own brand. Today, that’s known as Organic Liaison. Today, it’s also no longer her brand.

Jenny Craig’s mother company, CI Holdings (which bought Jenny Craig from Nestle recently), not only signed Kirstie to rep the brand once again, but bought her company. Now the program is what Kirstie is calling “a hybrid approach,” as it will “very, very soon” be incorporating her Organic Liasion weight loss products in to the Jenny Craig menu of offerings.

“I can get to millions [of new customers] with this,” Kirstie told us in an interview yesterday. Initially, Jenny Craig customers will be offered Rescue Me, the most popular product in her supplement line. It’s something the actress has told us she drinks every day, throughout the day.

“If I wasn’t drinking Rescue Me, getting these specific nutrients and specific antioxidants, it would be two weeks and I’d be back to craving sugar and heavier foods,” she told us in an interview last January.

In that same interview she told me that she “worships energy and organic eating,” and that, at least to me, is where the plot thickens. Kirstie and I spent about an hour in her comfortably beautiful home in Wichita, Kansas last January, where the bulk of the conversation revolved around organics, GMOs, and other aspects of clean eating in the name of health. Something quite amiss from Jenny Craig foods. (more…)

A New Year Brings 4 New Activewear Brands!

One can hardly walk outside without seeing women (and men) outfitted in workout clothing these days. At the airport, at the grocery store, at restaurants…even working professionals are leaving the house in leggings and workout hoodies. Because of the increasing acceptability of wearing activewear—even when you are not necessarily working out—more and more fashion companies, celebrities, and regular ol’ people are launching their own fashionable versions of workout clothing. Here are 4 brands to watch for:

1. Fabletics
As we recently discussed, Kate Hudson has co-founded a new line of athletic wear, Fabletics, which focuses on health, fitness, and, of course, fashion. Hudson has a feature on the site that displays her favorite outfits each month. She describes the site as a “community, a movement to help you live fit and achieve your passions in life.” The clothes are in a great price range for a working woman, including a deal on your first outfit, from $25 and up.

http://cdn.sneakerreport.com/assets/Fabletics-3.jpg

 

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23andMe Broke the FDA’s Rules. Dr. Richard Besser Explains the Violation and Why This isn’t About Blocking Your Rights

UPDATE 12/7/13: 23AndMe may no longer support new clients in accordance with the FDA directive delivered to the personal genome testing company last month. Our interview, below, with ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser explains, as does this message on the company’s homepage.

23andme suspended

This week the FDA took action against 23andMe, the popular home genome testing kit, to discontinue marketing its product until years of unresolved requests from the government agency can be addressed.

“Since July of 2009, we have been diligently working to help you comply with regulatory requirements regarding safety and effectiveness and obtain marketing authorization for your PGS [Personal Genome Testing] device,” wrote the FDA in a letter made public on its website. The company has failed to comply with all of the FDA requests to receive proper validation and approval by the agency, something required of medical devices and tests.

23andme

According to Dr. Richard Besser, Chief Health and Medical Editor at ABC News and author of Tell Me the Truth, Doctor, that’s exactly what 23andMe is. He thinks a lot of people online are missing the point about what is going on with the FDA’s motion, explaining “the way our system works, medical tests used for diagnosis, treatment, or prevention need to be approved by the FDA to make sure it does what it says.”

There in lies much of the problem – these genetic home testing kits aren’t always accurate. Dr. Besser cited a government study conducted in 2010 that used 10 kits from four different companies and had a group of volunteers submit their tests. He explained that the results varied not only by company, but within tests from the same company. Some tests showed positives for some genetic markers and diseases, while others showed negatives. The inconsistency can be incredibly misleading and disconcerting for consumers.

“These tests are fine if you want to look at your ancestry or for male pattern baldness,” explained Dr. Besser, who went on to say that when a test like this shows a woman that she is a carrier for the BRCA gene (the marker for breast cancer), “she needs to know that it’s right.” Some serious, sometimes life-altering, decisions have to come from the results of these tests.

What has happened in this instance is that 23andMe hasn’t just marketed this test as a cellular way to track your ancestry and family history, but instead with the intention of “diagnosis of disease or other conditions or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or is intended to affect the structure or function of the body,” per the FDA letter. 23andMe’s website tells customers the test will provide health results for 254 diseases and conditions, and that’s a red flag for the FDA, who has been trying for the better part of five years to get 23andMe to relinquish the pertinent data, testing, and information necessary for validation and approval. (more…)

When Did We Let Digital Fat-Shaming be OK?

Imagine a person just standing there minding his or her own business, and that person happens to be fat. If you place a clever caption underneath of the photo pointing out just how fat that person is and suddenly, somehow it becomes funny, right? Wrong. I’m sure you’ve these photos floating around on the interwebs. This is what is referred to as fat-shaming.

fat shaming

Personally, I have never found any photos exploiting overweight individuals as a “joke” to be funny at all. Being overweight in itself is not funny. And I have to wonder why this type of discrimination and bullying is still so acceptable in our culture. Even in Hollywood, consider how much negative attention a celebrity gets when they gain weight. Their image is shown on the cover of a magazine with a caption stating something about how fat they’ve gotten, and we’ve allowed that to be acceptable!

I gained a great deal of weight in my early teenage years and in high school, I was somewhere over 200 pounds. My saving grace was that I was funny and well-liked, so I didn’t become the target of much bullying (and most people would never have made fun of me to my face). I thank my lucky stars that things like Facebook and Twitter (heck, even cell phones or texting!) didn’t exist back then, because it’s so much easier to bully someone when you’re sitting behind a computer. (more…)

Conflict of Interest Colored Dietitians’ Annual Food and Nutrition Conference

Sponsorships are generally beneficial and non-controversial. They’re a way to keep doing business without having to worry about funds. But what happens when those sponsorships are in direct conflict with the mission of the sponsored?

AND sponsors

When this happens in the field of dietetics, advocacy groups like Dietitians for Professional Integrity (DFPI) are formed. Founded in February by a group of citizens and 14 dietitians, they were primarily a Facebook group discussing concerns like the connection between the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and Big Food.

Last month AND held their annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. DFPI attended the event, commonly referred to as FNCE, and have now released a report entitled “The Food Ties that Bind,” summarizing and detailing the message Big Food shared with the attendees.

According to the report, the Expo hall was liberally peppered with information from AND’s various partners and sponsors, including but not limited to: Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Unilever, General Mills, PepsiCo and the National Dairy Council. Corporate sponsors of FNCE had the opportunity to include “educational materials” in the tote bag provided to each attendee.

One handout, “Aspartame: One of the Most Studied Ingredients in the World,” was provided by Coca-Cola’s Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness. It detailed how long aspartame has existed and stated that it is used in 100+ countries around the world. It failed to include information from a recent study that found artificial sweeteners can alter the food reward-system response in the brain. This after Coca-Cola got blasted for being the health and wellness sponsor at BlogHer by the social media community. (more…)

No Fat Girls Allowed at Lululemon Athletica

It’s been a sour year for Lululemon Athletica. First, the company was forced to recall nearly 20 percent of their yoga pants because they were basically see through. As if the massive product shortage wasn’t enough, they proceeded to mock a domestic abuse charity in Dallas. And when Lululemon co-founder Chip Wilson was asked to reflect on the yoga pants fiasco, he offered this gem: “Frankly, some women’s bodies just don’t actually work for it.”

He just said that. That’s what he told Bloomberg TV earlier this week, when his wife and co-founder Shannon Wilson were on the air to talk about their 60 second meditation technique that they probably charge $100 for. Shannon quickly went into damage control, spinning Chip’s message into a “we’re more concerned with people using our pants in the wrong way” kind of thing. She literally blamed the “see through” pants fiasco on the fact that people might be sitting on cement.

“Not every woman can wear a lululemon yoga pant?” said Trish Reagan, host of Bloomberg TV. “No I think they can,” said Chip. “I just think it’s how you use it.” Right.

It would be nice if that’s what the lululemon founders really meant. But this is the same elitist and discriminatory message they’ve been peddling for some time. This summer, the company posted a message to its Facebook page and acknowledged that their clothing is not meant for plus sized women. (more…)