July 01, 2005

How To Lose Weight (1982 Edition)

In the process of editing a May 1982 recording from KSFX (103.7 FM) as it made its transition from rock to the news-talk fraternal twin of KGO (810 AM), I came across the following commercial spot:

Ayds Diet Candy Spot (:30)

Ayds Diet CandyIt's rather innocuous, but it's amazing how the meaning of a simple term (such as "aids") can change in the span of a few years. Ayds (the diet candy), manufactured by the Carlay Company, had been around for decades, once coming under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission in 1944 for its claim that it could amazingly "curb the appetite for fattening food" and help its users to "lose up to 10 pounds in 5 days, without dieting or exercising."

AIDS (the disease) was first reported in the United States in 1981, only one year before this commercial spot was produced, and just a short time before the acronym for the disease would replace the brand name of the diet candy in popular vernacular.