Weight Watchers, 'Fergie' delay diet program launch

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H.J. Heinz Co.'s Weight Watchers division, following the death of Princess Diana Aug. 31, is scrambling to pull the TV portion of its estimated $20 million to $25 million campaign featuring Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. TV ads broke Sept. 1. It is too late, however, to pull print and direct mail, which include the line, "It's the hardest thing, staying on a diet . . . harder than outrunning paparazzi."

Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, created the campaign for the 1,2,3 Success program that Ms. Ferguson is endorsing. The line was to have been unveiled at a Sept. 3 press conference in New York featuring the duchess. That event has been cancelled. Ms. Ferguson has made joking reference to paparazzi in advertising before, including a now concluded campaign for Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Drinks, in which she empties an ice bucket on the heads of insistent photographers outside her window.

Copyright September 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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