At Fashion Week, Pepsi Ditches Its Fat Friend for New Skinny Can

Last Updated Feb 8, 2011 7:45 PM EST

Pepsi is promoting a "skinny" can for Fashion Week, a move that is sure to offend many women -- especially when they read PepsiCo (PEP)'s press release. The statement suggests that there is a connection between beautiful, stylish, confident women and being tall and skinny:
In celebration of beautiful, confident women, Diet Pepsi presents the taller, sassier new Skinny Can ...
Chief Marketing Officer Jill Beraud -- who ought to know better -- is quoted saying:
Diet Pepsi has a long history of celebrating women through iconic fashion imagery seen in our infamous and historical campaigns, and we're proud to continue that tradition as an official sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today's most stylish looks, and we're excited to throw its coming-out party during the biggest celebration of innovative design in the world.
Got that, fat chicks? Pepsi is celebrating tall and skinny soda/women because that's what's confident and stylish! And was it a Freudian slip that the statement uses the word "infamous" instead of the word Beraud probably meant, "famous"? Pepsi wasn't particularly "infamous" for its advertising previously, but this can design will help correct that.

The backstory: The can actually has nothing to do with Fashion Week, although good luck getting that message across to the masses now that the grrrl blogosphere has gotten a hold of this. The alternate can redesign was previously unveiled in January and November. It hits at the retail level in March, weeks after Fashion Week is over.

The can holds the same amount of cola -- 12 oz -- so the redesign is actually an excellent idea in terms of distinguishing it from Diet Coke and grabbing some of the heat that's been generated by Red Bull et al. in the energy drink category. And you can probably fit more of them in the door of your fridge.

But tying the can to an event with a history of favoring women whose body types are unusual at best and so unhealthy as to be fatal at worst? Not smart. Makes the old can look like your fat friend.

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