Oprah Nabs 10% Stake In Weight Watchers, Makes Shares Soar

Oprah Nabs 10% Stake In Weight Watchers, Makes Shares Soar
SHARE
THIS



Well-known media personality Oprah Winfrey has secured a ten per cent share of slimming firm Weight Watchers, which has led to the company’s shares surging over the past few hours.

Weight Watchers had been struggling to stay afloat, according to the Wall Street Journal, so the stake from the media mogul was no doubt a welcome investment. Her stake will also see her join the Board of Directors.

Winfrey will become a member of Weight Watchers and will become one of the faces for its advertising.

“Weight Watchers has given me the tools to begin to make the lasting shift that I and so many of us who are struggling with weight have longed for,” said Winfrey. “I believe in the program so much I decided to invest in the company and partner in its evolution.”

President and CEO of Weight Watchers International, Jim Chambers, added: “We are expanding our purpose from focusing on weight loss alone to more broadly helping people lead a healthier, happier life. Through our conversations, it became clear that there is tremendous alignment between Oprah’s intention and our mission.

“We believe that her remarkable ability to connect and inspire people to realise their full potential is uniquely complementary to our powerful community, extraordinary coaches and proven approach.”

The Wall Street Journal reported the company has been suffering from a slide in memberships over the past two years [paywall].

However, since the news of Winfrey’s endorsement and stake, the shares have risen sharply.

ABC News this morning is questioning how much influence Winfrey still has. While she’s arguably one of the most popular and well known celebrities in America, the ABC said she’d been slipping down the rungs since The Oprah Winfrey Show ended in 2011.

Neil Saunders, managing director of retail research firm Conlumino believed she was a good fit for the brand as she has already well-documented her weight-loss with her viewers.

However, analyst Efraim Levy believed her influence wasn’t as strong with the younger marketer.

In 2013 Winfrey topped Forbes’ list of most influential celebrities, albeit being down slightly from the previous year. Forbes estimates her net worth is around $3 billion.

However, The Guardian has reported Weight Watchers had previously been trying to move away from celebrity endorsement as a strategy. Clearly that is not the case anymore.

B&T has contacted Weight Watchers Australia for how it might affect the Australian market.

Lead image via GDN Online.

*A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Winfrey’s net worth was $3 million. It’s $3 billion. We’ve corrected this now.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD
  • Advertising

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD

Video advertising platform SpotX has announced it has appointed Gavin Buxton as managing director of Asia to lead the company’s expansion in the region. Buxton has over 17 years’ global experience in the digital advertising space, having worked in leadership roles at tech and publishing companies, including Microsoft, Turner Broadcasting, and LinkedIn, with the last […]

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands

B&T Awards 2017 finalist Big Mobile has unveiled a fresh look to reflect its new ad tech credentials. The company successfully pivoted its business from ad network to mobile ad tech vendor when it announced a joint venture (JV) with Widespace in October last year. As a result of the business changes, Big Mobile wanted […]

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager
  • Advertising

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager

Independent ad agency March One has appointed a fresh face to the team, with Melanie Tozer to reinforce its mission to put humans first as a senior account manager. Tozer (pictured above), an up-and-coming talent from New Zealand, will align her extensive experience in FMCG marketing with March One, having worked on accounts for Bunnings […]

What To Expect From The App Economy In 2018
  • Opinion
  • Technology

What To Expect From The App Economy In 2018

Here's an insightful, authoritative synopsis of the app economy. So, you're right, it wasn't written by a B&T journo.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine