Readers of this blog might recall posts about LighterLife and TOAST, first-class purveyors of sleaze and slimming. Now Slim-Fast is ready to join that hallowed roll because one of their celebrity spokes-slimmers (no, not Whoopi Goldberg) has just been handed a four-year sentence for child abuse. That's one year for each of the four years that Barry Bethel sexually abused a minor.
It's a shame that Bethel's conviction for child abuse involves the real-life misery of a real-life girl because otherwise I'd be happy to crow about the apparent yet not entirely surprising relationship between sleaze and the diet industry.
Interestingly, Slim-Fast dumped Goldberg in 2004 for making a sexual joke about George W. Bush at a Democratic Party fundraiser. The company have made no such public statements to distance themselves from Bethel, although it's true that his ad spots were in the 1990s so maybe the company has selective amnesia that they ever employed him. Perhaps it's perfectly acceptable in Diet Land to have a convicted child abuser as a weight loss role model shilling your product and, despite his conviction, Bethel's kept the weight off - good man!
By the way, Unilever, who own Slim-Fast and a million other of your favourite brands, make a €40 billion annual profit.
This post is brought to you with apologies for its unfettered cynicism.