Weight Watchers draws attention to food scarcity

NEW YORK: Weight Watchers International recently kicked off "Lose for Good," an effort to draw attention to global food scarcity, and provide added momentum to members' weight loss programs.

NEW YORK: Weight Watchers International recently kicked off “Lose for Good,” an effort to draw attention to global food scarcity, and provide added momentum to members' weight loss programs.

From September 7 to October 18, Weight Watchers will match every pound of weight lost by members with donations to nonprofits Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger, equaling the cost of a pound of food for up to $1 million.

“We want to inspire our members to lose weight, while also giving back to others,” said Donna Fontana, VP of PR for Weight Watchers International.

Traditional media outreach will focus on regional newspapers, radio, and broadcast outlets, Fontana said.

Weight Watchers members will assist in outreach, with about 400 trained meeting leaders responding to local media requests.

“Our leaders are all people who once went through the program and became leaders due to their passion,” Fontana said. “Word of mouth is what drives our company.”

The effort will be communicated to members via signage, an action guide, approximately 1,000 informal food drives during the campaign tracking efforts, and the recently launched Web site LoseForGood.com.

Online outreach will target social networking sites and bloggers. A September 3 media day in New York reached out to trade and business media. Weight Watchers International president and CEO, David Kirchhoff, also attended the event.

The idea for the effort originated with a local campaign by a Weight Watcher leader in Seattle. An “Impact Calculator” on the site will show participants how weight loss will translate into meals for the less fortunate. The site also lists local places to drop off food donations.

“Success will be measured by Weight Watcher members reaching the donation goal, and by the inspirational stories,” Fontana said. Those personal stories will be integrated into media pitches, she added.

Ketchum, lead agency on the effort, deferred comments to Weight Watchers. Krupp Kommunications is working primarily on broadcast efforts and national print media.

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