Doig Elliott Schur, a New York-based start-up agency, is led by partners John Doig, Tim Elliott and Jeff Schur. Mr. Doig, 45, was corporate creative director at EPB; Mr. Elliott, 45, has been president of EPB Advertising and head of its Bethesda, Md., headquarters office; and Mr. Schur, 47, was exec VP in charge of the account, which had been shifted to New York from Bethesda last summer.
The split comes amid rumors that Weight Watchers was unhappy with the agency's attention to its business, even as it has gained share with a new TV campaign featuring former news anchorwoman Kathleen Sullivan.
The executives acknowledged the new agency, which will pursue additional clients, was formed in part as a response to Weight Watchers' concerns.
"They want an ad agency to be driven by their results, and not by their incredible wit and artistic prowess on TV and in newspapers," Mr. Doig said.
As a result, the agency's compensation is in part based on responses to its advertising and the enrollment of new members.
Doig's creation "gives us the kind of attention we need from principals in a business that's retail-oriented," said Les Parducci, president of the H.J. Heinz Co.'s Weight Watchers unit, based in Jericho, N.Y. "We've been encouraging them, but it's their idea and their design."
This year alone, EPB has done 16 TV spots, two infomercials and a direct mailing for Weight Watchers and analyzed responses.
The new shop will pay EPB a fee for the account, and EPB will gain revenue by providing media and accounting services to Doig. But EPB President-CEO Jeb Brown said his agency retains an undisclosed stake in Doig.