Marketing Mix: We'll call you - Weight Watchers

We've stuck to our diet so far, but as the party season gets into full swing, how can we resist the temptation to binge?

Weight Watchers Weight Watchers customer service, how can I help?

Mktg Can you give me some diet advice on surviving the Christmas party season?

WW There is an article in our magazine, but all you need to remember is it is best to substitute. Take the traditional turkey dinner; instead of roasting potatoes in oil, dry roast them, steam vegetables, take the skin off chicken and turkey, buy low-fat stuffing - things like that.

Are you the sort of person who buys biscuits and chocolates?

Mktg Yes, I'm afraid I am. What are the least fattening varieties?

WW Well, we advise not to buy them, because if they aren't in your house you aren't going to eat them. But Weight Watchers does low-fat mince pies and Christmas slices. You can substitute low-calorie, low-fat foods for the fatty, high-calorie stuff.

Mktg Where can I buy those Weight Watchers products?

WW Mince pies are in Sainsbury's, Somerfield, Co-op, Iceland and Waitrose.

Christmas pudding ... Co-op and Waitrose. Christmas slices and log, the same places. So they can be substitutes. And don't buy biscuits, chocolate or nuts - out of sight, out of mind.

Mktg What about alcohol? What are the least fattening drinks?

WW Stick to diet mixers. Bear with me; I just had an article on this ... OK, here we go: a Martini and slimline tonic is just half a point. Gin, buck's fizz and diet Bacardi Breezers are also lower in calories.

Mktg Did you say there was information about this in your magazine?

WW Yes, there's an article called 'Eat, drink and be merry and still lose weight'. It's quite interesting, and includes success stories.

Mktg I'm not a member of Weight Watchers. Can I still get a copy?

WW Yes, you can order it from our order line or get a copy from most major newsagents. I hope I've been able to give you a little bit of help.

Mktg Yes, you have been very helpful. Thank you.

VERDICT

This call-handler was polite and knowledgeable. She gave useful tips and suggested that I substitute the more fattening and calorific items for Weight Watchers varieties, without being too pushy in promoting them.

Even when she mislaid the article about the diet-friendliness of various alcoholic drinks, she related relevant information while she was looking for it. She even wanted to make sure at the end of the conversation that she had given me enough help.

Score 9/10.

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