Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW), the global leader in weight-management services, today announced it has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for injunctive relief and damages against Jenny Craig, Inc. ("Jenny Craig"). Weight Watchers seeks to prohibit Jenny Craig from continuing its current false and misleading advertising campaign, which makes deceptive claims about the success of their program versus the Weight Watchers program that are not supported by fact or science.
Jenny Craig is currently running an advertising campaign that seeks to mislead and deceive consumers into believing Jenny Craig's claims are based on a head-to-head scientific study comparing Weight Watchers current weight-loss program and Jenny Craig's pre-packaged meals system. No such study was done or exists and the claims made in these ads are not supported by fact or science.
The complaint states that to support Jenny Craig's claims, generally accepted standards of biomedical research require Jenny Craig to compare the two current offerings of both companies through a head-to-head randomized clinical trial. The ads mislead consumers into believing such a trial has taken place. Rather, Jenny Craig chose to make a purported scientific claim by twisting the findings of an irrelevant 10-year-old Weight Watchers study against a new Jenny Craig study, instead of running a head-to-head clinical trial which Jenny Craig was free to do. In fact, neither of the two studies cited by Jenny Craig, both of which were conducted with different research purposes and protocols, actually compares the efficacy or success of Jenny Craig to Weight Watchers.
"It is outrageous that Jenny Craig is trying to trick and fool consumers through this blatantly misleading advertising campaign, which makes clearly false and unsupported claims. Not only do the cited studies fail to support any sort of superiority or efficacy claim against Weight Watchers offerings, past or present, but also Jenny Craig is well aware of the fact the Weight Watchers program, service and product offerings have changed significantly over the past decade. The fact that Jenny Craig chose to deceptively try to compare themselves to Weight Watchers in a manner that is clearly unsupported by fact or science suggests to us a lack of confidence in their own current offerings," said David Kirchhoff, Weight Watchers President and Chief Executive Officer.