Weight Watchers seeks new PR agency partner

The health and wellness brand parted ways with Ketchum last month.

NEW YORK: Weight Watchers is in the midst of an RFP for a new PR agency partner, shortly after the company ended its long-term relationship with Ketchum.

Stacie Sherer, VP of PR for Weight Watchers, declined to offer details on the review process.

The health and wellness brand, which has struggled financially in recent months, parted ways with Ketchum, as well as creative agency Wieden+Kennedy, last month.

Barri Rafferty, senior partner and North America CEO at Ketchum, previously told PRWeek that the agency enjoyed its partnership with Weight Watchers.

"Right now, the company is clearly going through a lot of transition, and we feel like we just need to support [their decision]," she explained last month. "For us, it has been one of those iconic brands we’ve worked with and we really wish them well."

On May 5, Weight Watchers will report its first quarter earnings for 2015, after the company saw its active subscriber base fall 15%, year over year, in Q4 2014. The brand’s online subscribers also declined 16.7% that period, and its meeting subscribers dropped 13.3%.

Analysts believe the company is struggling due to competition from wearable fitness devices and free apps. Meanwhile, Weight Watchers’ app is $19.95 per month.

Earlier in April, the Annals of Internal Medicine published a study that revealed Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig as the most effective, long-term diet programs.

Weight Watchers also acquired startup Weilos, an online community for dieters and fitness fans, this month, according to reports. Weilos launched in 2013, according to its Facebook page.

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