On Google video there are a couple of commercials from the early 80s touting a weight-loss product called Ayds
. (An Ayds radio commercial
can be heard here.) The name of the product is so unfortunate, that it makes the ads sound like Saturday Night Live skits, with lines such as: "Ayds helps you control your appetite so you lose weight... Why take diet pills when you can enjoy Ayds?... Ayds helps you lose weight safely and effectively!"
However, the ads are totally real, as was the product. Many of you might even remember it (though I don't). Ayds was an appetite-suppressant candy that came in chocolate, butterscotch and caramel flavors. During the 70s it was one of the top-selling weight-loss products. But then along came AIDS. In 1983 Time Magazine reported
retailers as saying that "the disease is not hurting the product... Ayds sales have never been better."
However, by 1988 the Associated Press was reporting that Ayds sales were down 50 percent, because of the similarity between its name and AIDS. This prompted the maker of the candy to change its name to Diet Ayds. The AP reported "Dep chairman Robert Berglass told the AP the company wanted to soften the name without completely changing it and losing identification. Sales were moving back up, he said, but he was reluctant to predict a full recovery."
Evidently the candy didn't make a recovery, but I can't find any record of exactly when it ceased being sold.