Cheerios to Girls: Don't Diet

Canadian Commercial Urges 'World Without Dieting'

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Cheerios is urging girls to avoid dieting -- the latest example of a marketer using female empowerment in ads.

A TV commercial debuting this week in Canada for Multi-Grain Cheerios features young girls who are bombarded with dieting messages in the popular media, which the spot derides as "Dietainment." Viewers are then asked to sign a petition to "create a world without dieting."

The ad, by Cossette, continues the brand's anti-dieting messaging that began in 2013.

"The response from consumers was unbelievably positive and gave us confidence that we were headed in the right direction," said Amanda Hsueh, associate marketing director of cereal for General Mills Canada, stated on a corporate blog. "Our latest initiative was driven by a realization – as much as people can try to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle and set a good example for their children, there's a relentless external force that threatens all of those efforts."

A General Mills spokesman declined to say if the brand plans to bring the campaign to the U.S. But it is not unprecedented for the marketer to migrate ads south of the border. For instance, late late year Cheerios began running its "How to Dad" ad in the U.S. after a successful Canadian run.

The Multi-Grain Cheerios spot continues the recent trend of brands urging female self confidence in ads. Dove, of course, broke through years ago with its "Real Beauty" campaign. More recently, Always has won praise for its "Like a Girl" campaign

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