News

*

Wieden + Kennedy take Weight Watchers account from McCann Erickson

Published by

Though world renowned weight loss brand Weight Watchers have been with McCann Erickson New York for seven years now, it was announced late last week that their advertising business will now be covered by Widen + Kennedy, the independently owned, full-service agency based in Portland, Oregon. In a surprising move, there was no agency review process. The agency was brought on board because of the success Weight Watchers North America, Leysa Lysyi had with W+K when she worked as the chief marketing officer for Heineken USA.

It was announced late last week that Weight Watchers advertising business will now be covered by Wieden + Kennedy

Lysyi was appointed as president last November, around the same time that Weight Watchers also appointed Dan Crowe as their chief technology officer. Though there have been rumours regarding account consolidation, it's not clear at this point how his appointment will affect the current Weight Watchers digital agency, Ogilvy & Mather. With a yearly spend on measured media of almost $150 million ($149.8 million in 2013 to be exact), Weight Watchers is a significant win for W+K and a significant loss for McCann. The most recent ads McCann produced for the brand featured singer and actress Jessica Simpson, whether or not W+K will continue with the celebrity focused approach is unclear.

*

It would appear that McCann and Weight Watchers parted on relatively good terms, as McCann New York president, Chris Macdonald admits that as there have been “Significant recent changes at Weight Watchers,” (which includes a new CEO and president, as well as the recent loss of senior VP of marketing, Cheryl Callan), that is “Makes sense to part ways.” In a memo sent amongst McCann employees last week, it was made clear that the agency's relationship with Weight Watchers would end definitively in June. Macdonald also states that McCann can be “very proud of the smart and creatively superb” work they have done for Weight Watchers “over the past seven years, spanning broadcast and online.” He mentions the brand's campaigns featuring Jennifer Hudson and Charles Barkley, as well as the recent Jessica Simpson campaign, which he describes as “Very human work.”

The Weight Watchers account is a significant win for W+K and a significant loss for McCann

Conventional diet marketers such as Weight Watchers have been struggling of late, as dieters gravitate towards the internet and the various free weight-loss apps available for smartphones and tablets. Weight Watchers International CEO, James Chambers believes that his brand's offering have “become less appealing in this changing market,” primarily because their approach to innovation, and the consumer in general has not been “Sufficiently market-driven.” With the brand's new 'Simple Start' diet program he hopes to redress the balance somewhat, but admits that the marketing used to introduce the program thus far has been “Less effective”.

Official Weight Watchers Website

Official Wieden + Kennedy Website

Official McCann Erickson Website

Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer from the UK who has never been on a diet, rarely visits the gym and probably drinks more at the weekends than he should. 

Comments

More News

*

News

New Balance to enter London Marathon at dreaded mile 24

Virgin Money London Marathon sponsor New Balance is plotting an on-course activation at this Sunday’s race to help give runners an unexpected boost at the most daunting part. The global athletics brand will have a presence at mile 24, the...

Posted by: Industry Updates
*

News

Uncommon tells the story of television for ITV

UK-based broadcaster ITV has launched a new ad fronted by legendary newsreader Sir Trevor McDonald that shows how stories we see on screen can affect us. The 90-second ad, created by Uncommon Creative Studio and directed by Billy Boyd Cape, features...

Posted by: Industry Updates
*

News

Are white male creative directors ruining advertising?

The reason 89% of advertising is forgotten is because white men in London are the ones making the ads, according to Paul Mellor, owner and design director at Mellor&Smith. It’s all well and good for business leaders like Cindy Gallop and Sir...

Posted by: Ryan Watson