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Weight Watchers sues Jenny Craig

Bloomberg News / January 20, 2010

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NEW YORK - Weight Watchers is suing rival Jenny Craig, claiming it lied in an advertising campaign saying its weight-loss program is superior to Weight Watchers’.

The centerpiece of the campaign is a TV ad featuring spokeswoman Valerie Bertinelli in a lab coat saying that “a major clinical trial’’ shows “Jenny Craig clients lost, on average, over twice as much weight as those on the largest weight-loss program,’’ referring to Weight Watchers, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in New York.

“The Jenny Craig advertisements are false,’’ Weight Watchers said. “Jenny Craig did not conduct ‘a major clinical trial’ comparing its product with the Weight Watchers program.’’

Weight Watchers asked the court to stop Jenny Craig, a unit of Nestle, from using ads claiming its weight-loss program is superior. It also seeks damages.

A spokeswoman for Jenny Craig declined to comment.