Advertising disaster hall of fame: AYDS diet pills, 1982 (video)

I was going through an archive of old TV shows, and stumbled across one of my favorite (if you can call it that) advertising disasters: AYDS diet pills, circa 1982.

I remember AYDS diet pills, or “candy” as they liked to call it. And I remember thinking what a disaster this was later that same year when the term “AIDS” was first created to describe a cluster of specific sarcomas and pneumonias that appeared (at the time) to be primarily affecting gay men, Haitians and hemophiliacs, among others.

I did a little googling, and interestingly, the company didn’t change the name of the diet pill until 1988, six years later. And then, they only changed it to Diet Ayds in the US, and Aydslim in the UK. Both of which, in retrospect, still sound awfully inappropriate. The product was eventually removed from the market.

Ayds image by Marshmallowbunnywabbit.

Ayds image by Marshmallowbunnywabbit.


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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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