Superdrug pull plug on Celebrity Weight Scales launch following public backlash

The prototype allowed users to compare their size with that of famous faces  such as Cheryl Cole, Kate Middleton and Adele

Jenn Selby
Thursday 30 January 2014 20:07

Superdrug have decided not to go ahead with the launch of a controversial new product, the Celebrity Weight Scales, which allows users to compare their size with that of famous faces by replacing metric units with A-list stars.

At the lighter end, consumers can pit their weights against Cheryl Cole (8st), Kate Middleton (8st 6lb), Jessica Ennis (9st)  and Ellie Goulding (9st lb), and at the higher end, Adele (14st), and Gemma Collins (14st), Queen Latifah (16st) and  Melissa McCarthy (18st).

But after it was blasted by the leading UK eating disorder charity Beat, who called the idea dangerous "beyond belief” and said the product “preyed on the very worst of celebrity culture to fuel a harmful obsession” they have scrapped their plans to sell the scales in their stores nationwide.

"At Superdrug we're committed to helping people get healthier, and supporting those who want to lose, maintain or put on weight in a healthy and responsible way," a spokesperson for Superdrug told The Independent.

Celebrity Weight Scales spark backlash: Superdrug product compares user’s weight to Kate Middleton, Beyonce, Adele, Cheryl

"We created a prototype set of celebrity scales to move the conversation away from weight being perceived as a number, as we want to recognise that everyone is different. 

"However, we've listened carefully to all our customers' comments and can assure them that the prototype celebrity scales will not be trialled in our stores."

On whether individual celebrities had been approached with regards to their name being used to endorse the product, Superdrug simply said: "The single set of prototype scales were not a commercial product and were never intended to go into production."

A stark contrast to what the company told the Daily Mail in a statement on the product earlier today: "We're pleased to be piloting these scales amongst our store teams and, if successful, would look at potentially rolling them out for customer use nationwide."

The news comes as the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) published a report that showed a national rise of 8 per cent in the number of hospital admissions for eating disorder suffers.

In 12 months leading up to October 2013, hospitals across the UK dealt with 2,560 patients who were suffering from the mental health problem, compared to a figure of 2,370 the previous 12 months.

In particular were sufferers of anorexia and bulimia, both of which are strongly associated with low self-esteem and a desire for control linked to body size, shape and weight.

Eating disorders carry a high risk of death by suicide or starvation.

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