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Dear Top Chef… | Manolo for the Big Girl

Dear Top Chef…

…why oh why are you showing diet food commercials? Are people who are interested in haute cuisine really that eager to sign up for Nutrisystem? Why do I never see commercials during your show for fine cookware, top-notch kitchen appliances, or even other food-related shows?

And while we’re at it, why is every other commercial on the Food Network related to losing weight? Do we really need Jenny Craig because we watch Ace of Cakes? Honestly, the calories do not jump through the television straight onto our thighs. I have watched any number of shows on that channel, and not only have the ones about ‘healthy’ (read: ‘very low-calorie,’ because as we all know that’s the one and only indicator of health) failed to make me lose weight, the ones about gooey desserts have not made me fatter still than I already am.

Keep the diet commercials to the diet shows. Me? I’m going to hit the mute button as soon as I see Gillian Barbieri, Marie Osmond, Wynona, or Valerie Bertinelli. Special K gets the same treatment.

When I’m watching entertainment about good food, that’s what I want to think about. Great food. Not pre-packaged, frozen or freeze-dried, bland diet food programs. If I want to eat healthier, then I’ll concentrate on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cooking techniques that keep the maximum nutrients in those delicious foods.

After all, I watch shows about food because I like food, not because I fear it.

10 Responses to “Dear Top Chef…”

  1. Style Spy February 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    I don’t think it’s only the Food Network, it’s just that time of year. I don’t watch very much food tv, but all the channels I do watch (including the news ones) are INUNDATED with ads for weight loss programs & fitness centers & whatnot. It always gets worse at this time of year, because so many people make health & fitness New Year’s resolutions.

  2. rabrab February 3, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    1) The producers of Top Chef have no say in what ads are shown during the show. That’s all on Bravo’s sales department. What Magical Elves can control is what gets Product Placement during the show.

    2) Not everyone who watches Top Chef is interested in haute cuisine. Some like the drama, or the eye candy, and couldn’t care less about the food

  3. MissMarj February 3, 2009 at 7:58 am #

    If you like your food adverts then mute the telly, go to YouTube and check out the Marks and Spencer food adverts, they’re practically food porn!

  4. Fashionfrenzy February 3, 2009 at 3:56 pm #

    Amen–I think that it has to do with the timing of the year (all the diet ads)

  5. Twistie February 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    rabrab, you’re right that the show doesn’t sell the ad space…it is the network, which often fails to take the subject of the show into consideration. I still think shows about haute cuisine are rotten shows to sell diet ads.

    StyleSpy and FashionFrenzy, I think you’re right about why the diet ads are so exceptionally prevelant at this time of year, but they play pretty constantly the rest of the year, too. There’s no such thing as a time of year when the diet ads go down very significantly.

    MissMarj, I think this Wednesday night I’ll give that a go. Food porn + diet ads = phail on an epic level. Food porn + food porn = WIN!

  6. Evie February 4, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    Bravo, Twistie! Your last line is especially spot on. I have never understood why “dieting” automatically means hating or fearing food. That attitude only results in yo-yo dieting and a dangerous, completely unsustainable relationship with food.

  7. Ginger February 5, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    Hey folks,

    I work in the advertising industry for one of the above mentioned clients.

    The reason they run on the Food Network?
    1) Because of the season, tis true. But mostly…
    2) They’re all cheap bastards and buy the least expensive adspace possible. Specialty TV channels like Food fit the bill. If I had my way we’d pick better programs, but it’s all about the bucks.

    It’s about the dollars, in this case. Not so much the viewers.

  8. rabrab February 6, 2009 at 5:18 am #

    I used to work in radio, and Ginger, I have to agree with you that it’s about the dollars. We regularly got ad buys for a supermarket chain that didn’t have a single store in our actual listening area. But our station was listed as being in the Mobile market, and we were much smaller (and therefore cheaper) than the actual Mobile stations. The nearest store in the chain was a 45 minute drive from the town we were in, and we regularly got orders of 10 to 15 60-second spots a day from them. They were pissing their money away, but on paper it looked like they were getting a great deal. If they’d actually looked at listenership numbers and a map instead of just the rate card, they could have put that cash where it would do them some good.

    In terms of diet ads and Top Chef, some yo-yo at either Jenny Craig or their ad agency thinks food-related show=good audience for diet plans, and never looks at what kind of food-related show it is. (Ginger, I’m not calling you a yo-yo, by the way, since your comment makes it pretty clear that you don’t agree with that equation.)