Posted by Ben Berkon on January 22, 2010 11:20 AM
The rivalry between Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig took an ugly turn this week, with Weight Watchers filing a lawsuit against Jenny Craig over “deceptive claims.”
The lawsuit came about after Jenny Craig aired a commercial alledging that its weight loss program enabled customers to lose more than two times as much weight as Weight Watchers’ participants.
The commercial's claim, however, was not supported by scientific proof, despite the pseudo laboratory and scientific atmosphere in the commercial. Yet one has to wonder if Jenny Craig's assertion is really the only feat of deceipt incurred or dispensed by either of these brands.
Both programs essentially preach the same weight loss rhetoric: diet and exercise. Common sense, right? Of course it is, but common sense isn't always so easy to put into practice, as our epidemic of obesity in the US attains. So brands like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers state they are here to make a profit while making a difference. However, the brands find themselves faced with an unexpected competitor: technology.
Before the explosion of the Internet, programs like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig were the only viable sources for weight loss information. But now anyone can simply google "weight loss" and access the information, and even motivation, they are looking for.
Yet, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig spent a combined $105 million on television advertising in 2009, that alone shows neither company is in dire financial straights or will be anytime soon—regardless of the Internet threat or even their recent lawsuits.
Losing weight is big business, and both of these diet brands will do just about anything to defend their share of the marketplace. You can count on that more than calories, and packaged promises.