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Jenny Craig Re-hires Kirstie Alley – Good Move or Gamble?

Jenny Craig last month re-hired actress Kirstie Alley as their spokesperson. The actress stars in an ad breaking¬† in which she pleads with Jenny to let her “come home” so she can enjoy “yummy food” and lose 20 to 30 pounds. The spot marks the beginning of a new campaign featuring Ms. Alley’s “renewed weight loss journey,” according to Jenny Craig.
The weight-loss marketer’s parent company, CI Holdings, has also acquired a line of diet products Ms. Alley founded four years ago called Organic Liaison, whose supplements are marketed to “help increase energy, promote relaxation, aid sleep, and cleanse your system.” Some of the company’s key products will be integrated into the Jenny Craig line and sold at Jenny’s centers.

Marketdata Commentary

Hiring celebrities is always a double-edged sword. But re-hiring one that was difficult to deal with and whose weight has gone up and down more than a rollercoaster on a regular basis is a real big gamble. Guess Ms. Alley couldn’t make it on her own with Organic Liaison, movies or TV lately, so this was a way to make some money. However, there are plenty of other overweight celebrities to choose from. Yes, she’ll problably lose significant weight but the question is, as always, will she KEEP it off over the long-term. If she doesn’t, that doesn’t bode well for the effectiveness of the Jenny Craig program. We would have looked around a little longer.

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