Weight Watchers is conducting an agency review

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Credit: Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers International, which has been gaining subscribers as it hypes the weight lost by Oprah Winfrey and DJ Khaled, is on the hunt for a new agency approach.

Over the past few years, Weight Watchers has worked with agencies including Havas, DiMassimo Goldstein, Wieden & Kennedy Portland and McCann New York.

"As we move toward becoming a global, purpose-driven brand, we are having conversations with potential partners who share our vision, and have the mindset and capabilities to bring our purpose to life," Chief Brand Officer Gail Tifford said in a statement. "We're evaluating agencies on their abilities to support all of our bold moves, including integrating and unifying, personalizing all that we do, and deepening and expanding inspired communities."

News of the review comes less than three months after Tifford joined Weight Watchers from Unilever, where she was VP of media North America and global digital media innovation. Weight Watchers declined to identify the agencies it's speaking with.

Weight Watchers is currently promoting its Freestyle program. A commercial from DiMassimo Goldstein that's been running in heavy rotation on TV briefly features Winfrey and DJ Khaled, and notes in on-screen text that he has lost 33 pounds.

Winfrey has been promoting the company since 2015, when she became a shareholder and joined its board. DJ Khaled has been promoting his use of Weight Watchers as a social media ambassador for the brand since the beginning of the year.

His other recent efforts for Weight Watchers include "Khaled's Kitchen Tour."

In early February, just two days after Tifford's appointment was announced, Weight Watchers executives said the company was planning new branding, including packaging and digital elements.

Weight Watchers ended 2017 with 3.2 million subscribers, up from 2.6 million a year earlier. Still, the end-of-the-year-figure was a decline from the end of the third quarter of 2017, when it had 3.4 million subscribers. Also in February, Weight Watchers said its goal is 5 million subscribers plus another 5 million people engaging with the brand through experiences and content.

Weight Watchers' U.S. measured media spending fell 13.8 percent to nearly $66.2 million in 2017, according to data from Kantar Media. But worldwide advertising costs, consisting mainly of broadcast and digital media, rose to $193.4 million in 2017 from $186.6 million in 2016, according to the company's annual report.

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