TikTok reportedly took $4.3 million in commercial shillings from weight-loss products — including a laxative drink that it claimed can help you lose 90 pounds in two weeks — between last November and the first week of January. It was a bomb. A report from Media Matters for America revealed earlier this month. on Monday, Insiders has been confirmed which has been owned by TikTok since then Either removed or restricted who can see some company ads.
Notably, on paper at least, TikTok takes a more forward-looking approach to content that promotes weight loss and eating disorder than other social platforms in its community guidelines, and has explicitly banned weight loss products since 2020. With these policies, the goal The advertiser for TikTok is to “protect our community from harmful content and behavior while supporting an inclusive, body-positive environment.”
Instead, Olivia Little, chief researcher at Media Matters, found that the company received more than $4 million in two months from the Kilo Group, specifically, its brands ColonBroom — the aforementioned laxative drink — and Beyond Body, which sells “plans.” “Nutrition” is quite unrealistically aimed at weight loss gain. Many advertising content provided by ColonBroom and Beyond Body Features Young, skinny women compliment their products, collectively garnering nearly 415 million views on their videos. The individual TikTok accounts of ColonBroom and Beyond Body have less than 3,000 followers, but with hundreds of thousands of views on some of their videos that Insiders Notes “Hard to explain without a paid upgrade”.
This access is particularly troubling given who it is most likely to be targeted specifically: young women and girls. “I’ve talked to guys who all have no idea what Beyond Body or ColonBroom is, and then the women I’ve talked to are all like, ‘This is every other ad I have on my feed,’” Little told Jezebel. This is down to TikTok’s lack of data transparency around ads.” However, based on publicly available numbers and anecdotes Little shared, it’s clear that ads were prevalent, she says, designed “to exploit users’ fears, in a way reminiscent of 2010’s Instagram and ‘flat-belly tea’.” “The ads were everywhere.”
Using the ColonBroom website, Insider found that a 5’8″ woman who weighs 250 pounds with a goal of losing 100 pounds would be told she could lose 150 pounds in five weeks with her drink — and 90 pounds in the first two weeks alone.– which is pretty much inconsistent with all scientific and medical guidelines about a healthy, sustainable diet. Beyond Body promotes a more obscure 28-day weight loss plan marketed to individuals interested in “getting a flat belly before the holidays” or “achieving a dream body before going on vacation,” Insiders have found. Dr. Wendy Bazilian, registered dietitian, Tell The outlet states that ColonBroom products are more expensive and less effective than simply eating oatmeal, chia seeds, or other healthy, high-fiber foods, and worse, can harm users’ self-esteem by “getting their hopes up too high.”
And — effective or not — each of ColonBroom’s and Beyond Body’s ad campaigns and influencer content flagrantly violated TikTok’s ban on weight loss ads. However, while specific posts violating this ban have been deleted or restricted, TikTok has confirmed this Insiders which KiloGroup continues to advertise on the platform. A spokesperson for Colonprom said in a statement to the outlet that it “has stopped distributing ads that were deemed inappropriate, as we see that the message we wanted to convey was not clear.” Beyond Body has denied that it ever promotes weight loss content, saying Insiders Its plans are “guidelines” for teaching clients “ways of healthy eating,” and it argued that none of its reported posts directly included the phrase “weight loss” — as if that was the only possible way for the content to promote disordered eating or an unhealthy body image.
TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Jezebel detailing its restrictions on some ColonBroom and Beyond Body content, and how it determines which users should be restricted from seeing their ads. Nordred Tik Tok Tabuk Whether and how it vets advertisers and influencer content, in general, for safety and accuracy, given ColonBroom’s very serious weight loss plans that were successfully advertised on TikTok until recently.
The lack of sound nutritional advice being pushed by KiloGroup’s brands is particularly worrisome, given how increasingly TikTok is being approached as a source of health and wellness advice — be it for “Natural” Birth Control Alternatives Driven by “traditional wife” influencers who don’t have a medical background, weight loss advice from KiloGroup influencers, as well as, like Kady Ruth Ashcraft of Jezebel mentioned Earlier this month, influencers taught viewers how to make DIY Ozempic for weight loss purposes.
“Content related to health misinformation, weight loss, and all of that, spreads so easily across TikTok. What we see now over and over again, as with [Kilo Group]“Are these companies replicating the format or viral pattern of these viral TikToks, but they do so in the form of ads,” Little explained. Whatever the progressive language around TikTok banning weight loss ads, their inadequate implementation of these policies has not empowered these brands. Where was this situation One ad has flown under the radar, like a small, low-spending ad,” Little said of the $4.3 million purchase of Kilo Group. “This is, currently, a big buyer of fitness and weight loss ads, and TikTok has ignored the fact that they flagrantly violated their advertising policies in favor of collecting money.”
TikTok originally banned weight loss ads I was born In 2020, at the height of covid, a new medium Research At the time the pandemic was discovered and shelter-in-place guidelines led to a significant increase in disordered eating, especially among young adults. Some of this was inevitably driven by the “jokes” spread about epidemic weight gain, mental health struggles exacerbated by the coronavirus, and sure, Prevalence of disordered eating content on TikTok back then (and arguably today). Toxic weight-loss culture has always thrived in the age of social media, owing to the eternal financial incentive for brands and companies to capitalize on the unique gender insecurities driven by health and beauty trends. And, as Little’s research shows, there is also clearly a financial incentive for social media companies to spread these trends—even in contradiction to their stated policies.