By their own admission, the people behind the ‘New Atkins Diet’ are ramping up the company’s marketing effort in Australia to grow their share of the lucrative weight loss market.
Following its success in the United States where sales of its low-carb products have grown 165% since 2008, Atkins Nutritionals are relaunching the Atkins low-carb approach to weight loss in Australia, with an integrated marketing campaign spearheaded by radio presenter Fifi Box (pictured).
But early signs are that the marketing assault on Australia will backfire, with new mum Fifi Box criticised in the media for her involvement with the New Atkins Diet.
Managing Director of Atkins Nutritionals (Australia and New Zealand), Richard Sullivan, said Fifi Box “was the perfect fit for New Atkins Australia”.
“A self-confessed former sugar addict, she’s embraced New Atkins to help amend her poor eating habits, improve her long-term health and fitness and become a positive role model for her gorgeous new baby Beatrix,” he said.
But health experts and nutritionists don’t agree.
Dietician Sue Radd told The Telegraph: “I don’t know how she agreed to be the face of a diet so early on after giving birth. There are too many potential negative messages.”
CEO of The Butterfly Foundation, Christine Morgan said: “How sad is it that the focus seems to still be how can we change the shape of our body when we have given birth to a gorgeous new little life.”
But how sad is it that a new mum and her baby daughter have become entangled in the debate about body image?
It seems to me the criticism of Fifi Box has more to do with community expectations of new mothers than anything related to the diet itself. We expect new mums to be completely focused on the baby, not on themselves. Would they have been so quick to criticise Fifi Box if she weren’t the mother of a newborn? I think not.
Not that Atkins Nutritionals have treated their brand ambassador any better – telling the media that one of Fifi’s motivations for following the New Atkins Diet is to “become a positive role model” for her baby daughter. The child is barely two months old. What can she possibly learn from her mother at this age? The poor kid can’t eat solid food, let alone exercise!
The New Atkins marketing assault on Australia will feature Fifi Box in advertisements on radio, online, in-store and on TV, as well as a national PR program. So look out for more Fifi and New Atkins in women’s magazine and on morning television.
After experiencing phenomenal success for more than three decades, the original Atkins Diet came under a barrage of criticism after researchers debunked many of the claims made by its inventor, Dr Robert Atkins. But the diet really fell out of favour when after his death in an accident in 2003, it was revealed that Dr Atkins had heart disease and was clinically obese at the time of his death.
The New Atkins Diet is based on the book The New Atkins For a New You published in 2010. Find more information at www.atkins.com