New Years’ resolutions make it prime time for diet ads but you won’t be seeing a new one featuring Valerie Bertinelli. A New York court has granted Weight Watchers a temporary restraining order in its lawsuit against Jenny Craig.
The order means Jenny Craig can’t use a new ad making comparisons between programs. The order stems from a lawsuit filed last week in which Weight Watchers alleged that rival Jenny Craig’s new ad campaign makes “deceptive claims” about its success rate.
The ad under scrutiny claims the average consumer loses more than two times as much weight with Jenny Craig as those with Weight Watchers. It features Valerie Bertinelli in a lab-like setting where she discusses results from “a major clinical trial run by serious lab geeks.”
Weight Watchers, however, says Jenny Craig is lying, that there was no such study and that the company is using ten-year-old data that’s not an accurate comparison. Filed in U.S. District Court, the suit seeks an injunction and damages along with a ban of the ads. So far Jenny Craig hasn’t responded to the suit publicly.
While both programs focus on weight loss their approaches are different. The world’s largest weight loss firm, Weight Watchers’ main focus is group support. The company hosts more than 50,000 weekly meetings worldwide consisting of exercise tips, nutrition advice, behavior modification support and success stories to help its some 1.4 million members lose weight. Weight Watchers also offers advice and recipes on its Web site and sells products, such as recipe books, a magazine, food, and vitamins. Weight Watchers operates globally through a network of company-owned and franchise operations.
Jenny Craig takes a more individual approach and operates some 650 company-owned and franchised weight loss centers in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico. Through the centers and a phone service with home delivery, Jenny Craig markets a meal plan with prepared foods and provides individual diet counseling services to clients.