Plus Is Equal?: Analysis of the Negative Social Media Commentary of Lane Bryant's Campaign

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2016-11-09
Authors
Harmon, Jennifer
Reddy Best, Kelly
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September 14, 2015, plus-size clothing retailer Lane Bryant launched their #PlusIsEqual social marketing campaign. Social marketing applies commercial marketing techniques to programs designed to promote the acceptability of a social idea and voluntarily change behavior (Andreasen, 2003). This research analyzed the themes prevalent in the negative comments posted to the campaign. Currently, over two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese (Peters, 2014). Despite this majority consumer-base, plus-size models are nearly absent in high fashion magazines, and plus-size female consumers lack the same access to fashionable clothing (Peters, 2014). Additionally, obesity stigma is a pervasive and socially acceptable form of bias in North America (Puhl & Heuer, 2010). Of the 5337 tweets made in the first 30 days, 227 were negative in tone. The disapproval expressed fell into five main categories: criticism, reservation, contempt, sarcasm and externalizing. The findings highlight the presence of obesity stigma in the plus-size fashion industry.

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