Wins Jenny Craig Ad Account After Pitch Teams Loses 50 Pounds

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- As a result of a diet its review team adopted during the period they were pitching the account, J. Walter Thompson of New York will now
Under a new marketing chief, Jenny Craig plans to change its advertising's media mix.
be fattened by the Jenny Craig advertising work that team has just won.

Scott Parker, the diet management services company's vice president of marketing, announced the selection yesterday. Jenny Craig is headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif.

Lost 50 pounds
Mr. Parker indicated that while it was not the only factor that resulted in JWT's selection, he was impressed by the commitment of the agency team, which went on the Jenny Craig diet at the beginning of the review and, overall, lost a total of 50 pounds.

"We also liked that the team that pitched the business will also be managing the business," Mr. Parker added.

The agency competed against finalists Interpublic Group of Cos.' Gotham, New York, and independent Heil-Brice, Newport Beach, Calif. Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty was finalist but withdrew from the competition several days prior to the final round of presentations.

Incumbent didn't participate
The incumbent, Johnson/Ukropina, Irvine, Calif., did not participate in this review; the agency held onto the account after a review last year. At that time, JWT's Los Angeles office also competed for the business. Media planning and buying was not part of this latest competition and remains with Aegis' Carat.

Mr. Parker arrived at Jenny Craig six months ago from White Barn Candle Co., a unit of Bath & Body Works, Columbus, Ohio. He called for a review of the diet company's creative advertising account shortly after assuming his new position.

The company spent $28.7 million in measured media in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, with the bulk spent on spot TV.

Media mix to change
Mr. Parker said he expects the media mix will change, but wouldn't say how. With the agency onboard, the goal now is "to reconfigure Jenny Craig as America's first choice for real sustainable weight loss."

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