Recently I was contacted by the sister of someone in one of the world's biggest boy bands. As a blogger, with millions of Twitter and Instagram followers, she offered to promote our weight loss tea in return for us sending her some Skinny Tea. While we generally don't give away free detox tea - we've always believed that organic reviews build up greater trust - I felt in this instance we should make an exception. This just seemed like too great an opportunity to pass up.
The following day I spoke to our publicist, proud of my PR coup, and had planned on teasing her suggesting I was doing their job. Zoe then informed me that the blogger in question was 14.
Obviously I was torn for at least 2 seconds; sure the exposure could be great however, as a mother, I would be appalled if a weight loss company was sending my teenage daughter complimentary products simply in the hope of garnering a few Tweets and sales.
I wrote back and informed the blogger that unfortunately this wasn't something we felt comfortable doing. I know she is approaching a lot of companies and I suspect others probably won't follow our stance.
Regularly we receive emails from teenagers, some of whom are just 13, enquiring if our weight loss tea is suitable for them and offering to send cash or seeking alternative payment methods. My response is always the same; 'while nothing in our tea is likely to cause you any serious physical damage, we don't recommend it for anyone whose body is still developing.' Additionally, if we realise that anyone that has bought our tea is under 18, we will immediately refund them.
I'm as guilty as the next girl for being a little body conscious. However, as an adult, with a fully developed body I know when I overeat and put on a little too much weight. Most teenagers will go through 'chubby' phases as they grow, this is completely normal, and it makes me sad that many feel they need to do something about this and risk potentially damaging their body permanently.
Anyway, I'd been meaning to write something about this on our blog for a while. As a company we don't promote ourselves to the youth market and as such our customers tend to be more educated, professional women, looking for a little help. I don't really want to take a huge stance on this issue however, for mothers emailing us asking if Skinny Tea is suitable for their teenage daughters, I'm always going to just recommend a balanced diet and time over a couple of months of our detox teas.