Should Weight Watchers Drop Jessica Simpson?

We would love to claim ignorance on this story, but we recently became aware of the fact that one Jessica Simpson now finds herself pregnant for the second time…right in the middle of her big-bucks contract with Weight Watchers.

The problem: Her contract stipulated that she lose all of her “baby weight” in order to highlight the effectiveness of the Weight Watchers program—and she only had time to make one “look at me now” commercial before her second pregnancy put the brakes on all other promo opportunities.

We have less than zero interest in discussing Simpson’s personal life, but back in September we wondered whether Weight Watchers would regret hiring her despite all the tabloid attention. Our next question, from a marketing perspective: should the company just give up and find a new spokesperson? As we see it, they have only two other options:

  1. Claim that Simpson completed her program before getting pregnant (and accept the fact that she can no longer make Weight Watchers commercials)
  2. Wait nine months and do the whole thing all over again.

Neither of those are particularly appealing for the business. Weight Watchers’ PR manager commented on the story by saying:

“Any questions related to Jessica’s personal life can only be answered by her team. We do not disclose financial details about our relationships with any of our ambassadors.”

Translation: We’re pissed. So what’s the best way for brands to deal with celebrity sponsors who veer off script?

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: December 11, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT