Jenny Craig ends ad campaign after lawsuit

The diet company is accused of misleading consumers with study claim

Topics: Nutrition, Body Wars, Obesity, Food,

Jenny Craig has agreed to end an ad campaign featuring actress Valerie Bertinelli as part of a legal settlement with Weight Watchers International, the dueling companies said Friday.

Bertinelli, clad in a white lab coat, tells viewers a “major clinical trial … run by some serious lab geeks” found dieters using the Jenny Craig approach lost twice as much weight as those using the nation’s largest weight-loss program.

The problem was no such study existed, Weight Watchers said in a federal lawsuit filed in January. At that point, the campaign had run for less than a month on TV, in print and online, and a federal judge in Manhattan temporarily barred Jenny Craig from broadcasting, publishing or distributing the ads.

Weight Watchers said Jenny Craig’s claim was not supported by fact or science.

The purported trial actually was two separate studies, each comparing one company’s program to do-it-alone diets. And they were conducted 10 years apart, looked at different outcomes and didn’t include Weight Watcher’s current diet methods, Weight Watchers said.

Jenny Craig CEO Patti Larchet said in a statement that her company — a subsidiary of Swiss food maker Nestle SA — admitted no wrongdoing and has agreed not to compare the results of its own research to past data about the Weight Watchers method.

“In fact, Jenny Craig has such faith in its program and feels so confident about its performance in clinical trials that we challenge Weight Watchers to compete directly with us in a head-to-head clinical trial,” Larchet said. “If Weight Watchers refuses to take up our challenge to compete head-to-head in a new trial, we suggest that they offer consumers up-to-date rigorous clinical studies to support the advertising of their current program.”

Weight Watchers, which is based in New York, also alleged the Jenny Craig ads’ launch was deliberately timed at the height of the diet season. Late December is a crucial period for both companies because it’s when people are mostly like to seek help losing weight.

“We are pleased that Jenny Craig will no longer be allowed to continue using this false and misleading advertising, now and in the future, and to put this situation behind us,” Weight Watchers President and CEO David Kirchhoff said in a statement.

The feuding weight-loss companies use different approaches to help their clients shed pounds. Jenny Craig’s method is based around company-provided food and one-on-one meetings with a coach. Weight Watchers uses a points-based system for food and exercise and offers group meetings.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>