It’s no secret that America is getting fatter.
But these two maps from Bank of America strategist Sarbjit Nahal’s report Globesity – The Global Fight Against Obesity show how fast the nation is shifting towards obesity.
The map on the left shows that in 1990, 10 states in the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System had an obesity prevalence of less than 10 percent, and no state had a prevalence more than 15 percent.
Fast-forward two decades to 2010, and no state has a prevalence of obesity less than 20 percent, and 12 states have an obesity prevalence of 30 percent or more.
The highest prevalence of obesity in the US is in the south. Mississippi, the most obese state (34%) for the sixth consecutive year, is also one of the poorest and suffers from low insurance coverage, a weak education system and high unemployment.
From Morgan Stanley, a chart of the US burger market share.
What’s remarkable is that McDonald’s is actually expanding market share. They took share from every other major chain over the last 5 years.
Note that the chart is a little unusual, as 2011 is to the left of 2006, etc.
Just when it looked like things were starting to look up for cash-strapped American Apparel, profits are reportedly getting shaved.
The hipster clothing chain racked up impressive sales gains during the holidays, but profits were squeezed hard as it took steep discounts, including those from a barrage of Groupon offers nationwide, sources told The Post.
American Apparel rang up millions of dollars in the fourth quarter selling cardigans, corduroys and sexy leggings through the daily deals site — a heap of bargains amounting to a “small but material” percentage of the company’s $157 million in total sales during the period, said one source briefed on the company’s finances.
The controversial clothing company has been struggling to turnaround its operations.
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Procter & Gamble has agreed to never again run an ad for its CoverGirl mascara because it used “enhanced post-production” and “photoshopping” to make eyelashes look thicker than they were in real life. P&G agreed to the ban even though it disclosed in the ad that the image was enhanced.
The move is the latest in a series of baby steps that U.S. and international advertising regulators have taken to ban the use of Photoshop in advertising when it is misleading to consumers.
The company’s decision was described in a ruling by the National Advertising Division, the U.S. industry watchdog that imposes self-regulation on the advertising business. NAD is part of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Its rulings are respected and followed by most advertisers because it enjoys a close relationship with the FTC, from which it has historically drawn some of its senior staff. Recalcitrant advertisers who refuse to withdraw or amend misleading ads are referred by the NAD to the FTC, which has the power to fine, sue or bring injunctions against companies.
When asked whether this was a de facto ban on Photoshop, NAD director Andrea Levine told us:
“You can’t use a photograph to demonstrate how a cosmetic will look after it is applied to a woman’s face and then – in the mice type – have a disclosure that says ‘okay, not really.’”
The ad in question was for CoverGirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara, which promised “2X more volume” on women’s lashes. After reviewing the ad, P&G agreed to yank it. (A different CoverGirl ad is shown here.) The NAD ruling said:
“… [P&G] advised NAD it has permanently discontinued all of the challenged claims and the photograph in its advertisement. NAD was particularly troubled by the photograph of the model – which serves clearly to demonstrate (i.e., let consumers see for themselves) the length and volume they can achieve when they apply the advertised mascara to their eyelashes. This picture is accompanied by a disclosure that the model’s eyelashes had been enhanced post production.”
In a footnote, the NAD said it was following the lead of its sister body in the U.K., the Advertising Standards Authority, which in July banned cosmetics ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington because they used Photoshop. The NAD said:
“Advertising self-regulatory authorities recognize the need to avoid photoshopping in cosmetics advertisements where there is a clear exaggeration of potential product benefits.”
“… the picture of Ms. Roberts had been altered using post production techniques (in addition to professional styling, make-up, photography and the product’s inherent covering and smoothing nature which are to be expected), exaggerating what consumers could expect to achieve through product use.”
The U.K. ruling found the use of photo retouching misleading per se.
In the U.S., the FTC has has also tightened rules to hold celebrities accountable if they make claims in ads they know cannot be true.
And in France, in 2009, 50 politicians asked for health warnings to be imposed on fashion ads if they showed retouched models’ bodies.
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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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