Forever 21 tossed diet food samples into online clothing orders

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/26/forever-21-tossed-diet-food-sa.html

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No diet pills?

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Realize you’re joking, but probably too much legal liability. Most diet pills, the OTC ones that actually do anything, are a health menace.

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No coupon for a “slimming surgery” consultation?

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Been there, done that. When my weight was at its worst, my choices were either a “big and tall” shop or Farm & Fleet (nearest store 25 miles away). Even Wal-Mart didn’t carry 50x30 in my area.

But holy hell, I’d be downright irate if something like that snuck into an online order. Are trolls starting to infest online shops now?

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However, the hubub on Twitter would suggest that the Atkins bars only found their way into plus-sized clothing orders.

This could be just selection bias, since buyers of plus sized clothing would be probably more prone to be (rightfully) offended.

I really can’t imagine how such a bad idea could have escaped without no one realizing that it would backfire. Or maybe they thought that the outrage would have been further publicity for them.
What’s next? A pack of condoms in every box of diapers?

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Thoughts on it are that Atkins has the right to advertise their products and Forever 21 and other retailers have included free samples of products in orders before. I’ve received breakfast bars, laundry detergent, etc through other retailers in the past so if i had gotten an Atkins bar i wouldnt’ve thought too much about it but i fully understand why its still problematic. And if they did include the bars specifically in orders for plus sizes then Jesus who was the person that came up with that and who approved it?

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I’ll take “Data Analytics” for $1000, Alex.

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They could include packets of candied Capitalist Jerky strips. I wouldn’t be offended by that.

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See, so, what’s the truth?

Did they pack it in only with plus size orders? That’s horrible.

Did they pack it in with all orders? It’s a free cross promotional item, making it a non-issue.

I’m all for condemning when someone does something wrong - but getting out the pitchforks and torches with out clear proof - especially when there is a reasonable explanation - isn’t helping anything.

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In the hopefully near future all clothes and shoes are sold by exact metric measurements only. Proprietary sizing scales can get fucked.

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Without speculating on Forever 21 or how this particular product ended up in the boxes…

My company previously partnered with a marketing “value add” company that sent us promotional materials to include with our shipments. These weren’t put in the boxes at pick time, they were inserted en masse much earlier in the process. So, when the pickers in our FC (fulfillment center) did their thing, there was no “choice” about what items were included with what orders.

After a few campaigns where the marketed goods/services were in direct conflict with our brand (and our parent org), we discontinued the partnership.

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Right. This is contextually dodgy. But its relatively common. I ordered some computer bits from New Egg a couple weeks back. They came packaged with an Atkins diet bar. Last time I ordered something from Lands End it came with body wash samples, female gendered body wash samples in my box of dude pants. I’ve gotten candy, jerky, dog food for that dog I didn’t own at the time. A whole host of toiletries, diet products, and supliments. Men’s and Women’s razors. And even herbal boner pills.

We tend not to see it as often because we order so much through Amazon who don’t generally do it. But its very common for retailers to make promo deals with companies to toss free items in boxes as they ship out. What shows up is effectively random whatever the packer grabs and throws in. And any targeting is based on who a brand is marketing too. Diet products are heavily targeted at women, so they tend to tie themselves to clothing retailers, even men’s clothing retailers.

It would behoove a women’s fast fashion brand. Particularly one targeted at teens and young adults like Forever 21 to not participate in that. But there’s very little chance this is any more targeted than any of the other stuff.

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When did marketing become “totally cool?”

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It would be nice if there was less marketing of these kinds of absolutely not great products to women in general, no… to people. “Diet” food is a scum of the earth industry. But fast fashion isn’t much better so… match made in heaven/hell?

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When you’re overweight, taller or shorter than average or otherwise physically different from the vast majority of folks, shopping for clothing sucks.

This is no doubt true. But you know what else is true? Even if you’re average build, shopping for clothes sucks! Exhibit A: Kohl’s.

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From the weird freebies dept.
I remember that in the '90s for a top of the line Alfa Romeo car there was am Apple Macintosh instead of the user manual in the glove compartment.

I have just bought a Volkswagen car and they put as a gift a bottle of Riesling wine. Buy a car and get fined for DUI. Wow.

I am a big dude, not very ‘fat’ but just large dimensions (6.4, 270). I’ve just accepted that most stores are not interested in having me wear their clothes, because they simply don’t have the stuff that fits me.

I hate shopping with a fiery loathing, so it is possible I have not been to all the stores, but when I do get to a place that has something that fits me comfortably I tend to buy ten of them.

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All candy bars are diet bars.
Unless someone eats them.

Diet food appears to be an oxymoron.

No the diet ones make you poop.

Like most health food, cleanses and what have. It’s all about poop.

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