All Articles Tagged "Nutrisystem"

Are Women-Run Companies Shortchanging Their Female Staff? Workers At Weight Watchers Claim So

February 28th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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via Weight Watchers' Facebook page

via Weight Watchers’ Facebook page

Jennifer Hudson got millions. Jessica Simpson is reportedly earning $4 million. Weight Watchers shells out mega bucks to it celebrity spokespersons, despite a 15.6 percent decline in earnings last year. But according to a New York Times article, women who actually work for the weight loss company are complaining about incredibly low pay.

“Some employees at Weight Watchers expressed irritation at being paid the minimum wage while the company lavishes millions of dollars on celebrities like Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Hudson to advertise its weight-loss program,” writes the newspaper.

Weight Watchers meeting leaders, who go out into the community to encourage followers to continue with their regimen, have an $18 base rate, and it has not increased in more than a decade. And the workers say they are not reimbursed for mileage on the first 40 miles driven each day. An added insult, some complain, is that the overwhelming majority of its employees are women.

“We are not working for a charity or a nonprofit corp,” one Weight Watchers leader posted on the Web site. “This is a multimillion-dollar company with enough cash to advertise relentlessly on TV, and pay celebrities tons of money to lose weight.”

According to the article, Weight Watchers executives have hinted they will increase compensation for their low-wage earners in order to address the frustration.

This isn’t the first time Weight Watchers employees have been upset over low wages. Two years ago Weight Watchers reached a $6.2-million settlement to end a class-action lawsuit in California in which employees complained about minimum wage violations, off-the-clock work and receiving paychecks that did not explain how wages were calculated.

It is not just Weight Watchers short-changing their largely female workers. There seems to be a trend of low pay complaints and companies that are primarily staffed by and targeted to women. “The restlessness over low pay extends across the weight-loss industry to Weight Watchers’ rivals, including Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem,” reports The Times.

The is  lawsuit pending aging Jenny Craig in which employees in New York State claim they typically work through their lunch hour, but are not paid for that time. The company denies this.

Mary Kay, too, came under scrutiny last year. According to Forbes, the company has several legal actions against the concerning earnings by its sales representatives. We even reported this morning that nursing, an area that has always been heavily female, pays its female nurses less than the men.

As if we needed it, here’s more proof that women need to be more vocal about pay and getting what they deserve. If we aren’t we’ll get shortchanged.

Much Ado About Weight Loss Among Black Hollywood

April 16th, 2012 - By MN Editor
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More than ever, celebrities are cashing in on weight loss endorsements. And at some point, I’m sure you’ve all witnessed the countless weight loss advertisements featuring African-American celebrities, with Jennifer Hudson (Weight Watchers),Janet Jackson (NutriSystem), and Mariah Carey(Jenny Craig) being the most recent additions. While, I’m happy at the increase of African-American endorsements and health awareness I’m skeptical as to whether or not these advertisements are giving off the right impression. Are weight loss programs (such as Weight Watcher’s, Nutrisystem, and Jenny Craig) enough to obtain a Hollywood figure?

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Janet Jackson Shows Off Her New Nutrisystem Body

April 6th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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When Janet Jackson first signed on to be Nutrisystem’s new spokeswoman, she appeared to have fallen off of her trim and toned wagon but in a new ad campaign being rolled out for the weight loss program, it looks like the famous singer has gotten right back on.

On Monday, a new commercial will debut with Janet in a high-waisted black pant showing off the tiny midsection she’s been known for during most of her adult singing career, and by the end of the month, print campaigns will roll out featuring the petite 45-year-old in a fitted orange dress showing off the results of “getting on it”–her Nutrisystem tagline.

In December, the company said Janet had lost 10 pounds in a little more than a month, but she’s keeping her results on the hush.

“I’m not viewing this as a diet,” she told USA TODAY‘s Nanci Hellmich during that time. “I’m not putting a number on it. I don’t look at the scale. I’m going about it in a different way this time.”

Janet added that she doesn’t need to lose “a great amount,” and that she would stop “when I feel good about it,” judging from this new campaign that time is now.

Check out Janet’s new commercial here. Does this make you want to try Nutrisystem?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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Business Gets Personal With Celebrity Weight Loss Endorsements

January 20th, 2012 - By C. Cleveland
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It seems like you can’t watch television for more than five minutes without Jennifer Hudson singing the praises of Weight Watchers or Janet Jackson cooing over Nutrisystem. Give it another five minutes, and Mariah Carey will be partying for Jenny Craig and Charles Barkley will tell you the finer points of how to lose weight like a man. Celebrity weight loss endorsements used to be reserved for the drastic weight changes of obese celebrities looking to make a comeback. But, now it seems everyone is jumping on the weight loss bandwagon, whether they are losing baby weight or slimming down to a healthier size.

It could just be the time of year. Weight loss programs like to take advantage of New Year’s resolutions and the public’s renewed dedication to getting in shape. Beyond that, American obesity has become a hot button issue in the past year. Even the First Lady is championing the values of a healthy lifestyle through her “Let’s Move!” campaign. Programs like Weight Watchers would be wise to increase advertising dollars to take advantage of the dialogue happening around maintaining a healthy weight.

Of course, celebrities are always looking for a way to diversify their revenue. But, their willingness to endorse weight loss programs reflects a newfound understanding of branding. The concept of branding has expanded beyond a product’s packaging. Branding is now where the personal and professional meet, allowing a person to use their personality and life experiences to differentiate them professionally.

Charles Barkley caused a fuss earlier this month when a hot microphone picked up his comments that that his Weight Watchers deal was a scam. After all, he is getting paid to live healthier, something he should be doing anyway. Charles’ logic doesn’t take into account this expanded view of branding and business. Not only should personal experiences be used to promote yourself professionally, it would be silly not to.

Everyone has a brand to attend to. Just as these celebrities are using personal experiences like losing baby weight or slimming down for a healthier lifestyle to cash in, you too can monetize the milestones in your life. Celebrities may rely on endorsements, but there are plenty of ways the average businesswoman can use personal experiences to expand her brand and business.

Make life events a part of your brand and analyze how your personal interests can enrich your business. Does your business benefit new mothers in a way that you didn’t realize until you were expecting? Explore the possibilities of marketing to this new audience. If you pick up a new hobby, notice the needs of the individuals who share that interest and think of ways your business can address them. It can be as big as creating a new product offering or as simple as shifting your marketing strategy.

The beauty of expanding your brand in this way is that it is inherently genuine. Your audience will feel a personal and professional connection with you, making them all the more willing to support you professionally.

Cortney Cleveland is a public relations practitioner and freelance writer working in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @CleveInTheCity.



The New Look of Weight Loss

January 4th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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No more than a week after I saw Wendy Williams throw shots at Jennifer Lopez for her lack of talent and numerous endorsement deals, saying “Mariah Carey would never be caught in a Fiat,” news broke that my favorite singer of all time was the newest spokesperson for Jenny (Craig that is). My heart sunk a little because I knew the sort of gimmicky promotions that come along with the territory, and her first “Make it Happen” campaign confirmed my worst fears.

But Mimi is hardly alone in the new trend of black celebrity weight loss spokespersons. Jennifer Hudson set the stage for this, and undoubtedly crushed Weight Watchers’ competition with her catchy tunes, slim physique, and more publicity than the Southside Chicago native could’ve ever dreamed of. So what were Jenny and NutriSystem to do? Hire even bigger celebrity names like Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson to draw in the masses.

My main concern with the latest weight loss campaigns was how they would affect each divas image. While the opportunity boosted J Hud’s career to unexpectedly new heights, for Mariah and Janet, I’ve likened the endorsement deals to offers to appear on “Dancing with the Stars” or any other reality TV show. It’s a sign that they’ve lost their spark and are vying for ways to stay relevant in the media.

Fred Mwangaguhunga, editor of, expressed similar sentiments in an interview with The Daily Beast. “I was really surprised when I saw Janet Jackson doing a weight-loss commercial, he said. “I don’t think this is something she would have done five years ago, given her personality. But times have changed and the way you have to sell yourself has changed, so you use what you have.”

More important than these star’s careers, which have had an excellent run thus far by all industry standards, is the question of what these campaigns mean for black women. Presumably, seeing three black female celebrities successfully shed pounds with these programs would serve as a role model for black women as obesity continues to stake its claim in our community. Kirstie Alley and Marie Osmond may not be relatable to us but these women should be, right? Not necessarily.

Many have criticized Jennifer Hudson as being disingenuous about the way she dropped 80 pounds, but while her story is believable to me, I can’t say the same about Janet Jackson. Janet may have struggled with her weight as a young woman first on the music scene but it’s been some time since we haven’t seen the singer without chiseled abs (sans her appearance in “Why Did I Get Married Too”).