You've seen this ad before. Weight loss program Jenny Craig's spokeswoman, actress Valerie Bertinelli, is hanging out in a gleaming white "lab," surrounded by guys in thick-framed glasses and lab coats. She gleefully announces that people on the Jenny diet lost two times as much weight as those who were on the other big diet program (read: Weight Watchers). She also claims that the results were an outcome of a "major clinical trial run by serious lab geeks." Now, Weight Watchers has lashed back, dragging Jenny to court--alleging that the ad campaign makes "deceptive claims" about its success rate. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, according to AdWeek, and it said in part:
"The trials cited by Jenny Craig (available on its Web site) are, in fact, two separate studies, conducted 10 years apart for entirely different purposes than comparing the efficacy of the Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers weight-loss programs ... The Jenny Craig 'trials' do not relate to WW's current offerings."
So a New York court has now granted Weight Watchers International a temporary restraining order and has prohibited Jenny Craig from using these comparative claims of superiority in its current ads. In the ad, Bertinelli cheerfully declares, "I love science." We might suggest she say instead, "I love putting a patina of scientific authority on whatever flimsy claim our marketing people are peddling today." Related Content: Discoblog: Fast Food Joints Lie About Calories (Denny’s, We’re Looking at You) Discoblog: Heart-Stopping Cinematic Excitement: Guess How Much Fat Is in Movie Popcorn? 80beats: Diet and Exercise in a Pill: Experimental Anti-Obesity Drug Could "Trick" the Body 80beats: A Victory for the Atkin's Diet? Not so Fast.Video: Jenny Craig