The Good, the Bad, and the Challenge with Advertising

The Good, the Bad, and the Challenge with Advertising

Research shows that the average person is exposed to up to 10,000 marketing messages a day.

As a health industry marketing consultant and teacher, I’m very familiar with conversations surrounding the constant barrage of digital ads that hit us smack in the face the minute we turn on our electronic gadgets each morning.

Yet, most nutrition professionals contribute to the volume. As you should. With increasing competition for clients along with more channels available for you to reach them, advertising and promoting a nutrition practice is essential. Without it, your business can come to a screeching halt. 

But how you advertise matters a lot. It shouldn’t annoy, badger, or trick people to take action. It should be conscious, ethical and explain how your solution might solve the problem that your audience struggles with.

That’s our advertising goal at the NANP.

The only time we will advertise a product or service directly to our members is when a company approaches us; we don’t proactively seek advertisers. Before we agree to take their dollars and promote them, we do our homework and ask ourselves:

  1. Are they in alignment with our mission to advocate for and empower a flourishing community of professionals dedicated to the principles of holistic nutrition?
  2. Are they associated with any entity or parent group that is direct conflict with our philosophies or standards?
  3. Can their product or service enhance our members’ clinical knowledge or business success?
  4. Does anything look or feel disingenuous? Is their goal simply to extract emails from our members, and to abuse their names without any regard to the principles of conscious marketing?

Recently we were approached by Keto-Fridge and Prepped who wished to advertise their services to our members. From our vetting process, we determined that they fit the above criteria.  

Still, we received a few questions regarding this ad. One member was concerned that their products didn’t meet all the standards for food that we strive for: grass-finished, wild-caught, non-GMO, organic, local, seasonal, unprocessed, pasture-raised, and unadulterated.

She’s right, they don’t meet them all. But a standard is, by definition, a level of quality that is considered acceptable or desirable. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s compulsory in every situation for every individual.

What about people who live in food deserts, with no access or few options? Or busy execs who are trying to make the leap from donuts to healthy living but have no interest in cooking or shopping? Could these prepared foods be an alternative for them, or at least a way to transition them from fast food or the packaged ramen noodles they eat now?

How about our local farmers who cannot afford to get the USDA Organic seal of approval, but still adhere to the organic standards? Should we avoid buying from them at farmer’s markets because they don’t have the “label,” and watch them continue to slowly disappear while we happily buy foods from the big-name grocers who DO carry these foods?

 Here’s what we believe.

There is no one right approach that works for each one of the thousands of individuals who follow us. It is not our place to dictate diets, business models, or how you guide your clients. We are a diverse community with a multitude of needs. That is our core strength, unlike the one-size-fits all mentality that others follow.

Where you live, how you run your business, the therapies you choose, and how you want to make your living are your decisions. Our responsibility is to provide you with potential tools that you can use in whatever manner you like; to offer solutions that make it through our first round of vetting.

When you see a paid advertisement from NANP – distinguishable by the “paid advertisement” box at the top – you can be assured that we’ve done our work first. But that’s where our responsibility ends and yours begins.

Your next move is to decide whether they’re the right tools for you.


Miriam Zacharias, MS, NTC, BCHNTM
President, NANP

P.S. Since many of our nutrition professionals work in the very businesses that we promote, we want to support their success, too. We hope you agree!

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