Weight-loss programs counter low-carb diets

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Weight-loss plans not pegged to cutting carbohydrates are taking the offensive this month.

Jenny Craig this month plans to increase its media outlay roughly 15% over its January 2003 spending of $3.7 million with TV spots focused on clients that have kept weight off long-term as well as a campaign touting an at-home program dubbed Jenny Direct. Weight Watchers International, meanwhile, is pushing a "Fast Track" two-week weight-loss program that is intended to counter quick, low-carb diets.

TV spots from Johnson/Ukropina, Irvine, Calif., feature client Joy Behar from "The View" introducing other Jenny Craig clients who have kept the weight off for more than four years. Weight Watchers International will suggest in its campaign that its plan offers flexibility and long-term results. The focus of the January push is a two-week "Fast Track Kit" including meals and an exercise DVD that Weight Watchers touts as an alternative to cutting carbs. TV ads from Sieden Group, New York, tout the "Super-powered" Fast Track plan and ask, "Want to lose weight fast without cutting carbs like fruit and pasta?" A direct mail effort includes a booklet, "The Truth about Carbs." Weight Watchers spent $7.3 million during January '03, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

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