More revolving doors in Portland as Weight Watchers exits Wieden+Kennedy

It does sometimes seem to be revolving doors at Wieden+Kennedy’s celebrated Portland HQ.

New client is appointed, client appoints W+K to transform employer’s moribund advertising, client leaves (for whatever reason) and account moves from W+K.

The latest such instance is Weight Watchers which has dispensed with W+K’s services after a year or so. W+K was appointed by newly-appointed North American president Lesya Lysyj, who also chose W+K for Heineken USA when she was CMO there in 2011. Now she’s gone and so has W+K.

“We are taking a number of actions to change our marketing execution moving forward. As part of these changes, we will no longer be working with Wieden & Kennedy Portland, who we wish to thank for their efforts during the past year,” Weight Watchers exec Maurice Herrera told Ad Age.

W&K managing partner Tom Blessington says: “we are proud of the work we produced in the short time together. It was a great team and we wish them nothing but the best of luck.”

Blessington seems to think Weight Watchers needs all the luck it can get. The company’s sales have fallen as it faces growing (often free) online competition.

W+K made its debut for Weight Watchers at the Super Bowl:

Super Bowl ads cost a fortune of course ($4m plus before agency fees and production) and this is edgy stuff that may well not have chimed with Weight Watchers’ ageing customer profile. Not immediately anyway.

Still, W+K has plenty on its plate in the US: massive new accounts KFC and Verizon for beginners. It will be interesting to see how they go at the famously uncompromising W+K.


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