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Herbalife bids for weight-loss customers on TV


Herbalife International has launched its first television advertising campaign in over a decade, to promote its herbal weight loss products and build awareness of the company name.

Two direct response spots are geared toward creating lead generation for Herbalife's nationwide network of independent distributors and offer various free product samples and literature. Another spot focuses on Total Control, an ephedra-free herbal weight loss formula, which features Herbalife customers who tell their stories about how Herbalife products helped them lose weight, gain self-esteem and feel better about themselves.

The spots lasting 60- and 120-seconds will each air in six US test markets, in both English and Spanish, including Dallas, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Sacramento. The test will be used as a platform for a future national ad campaign, said the company.

Herbalife products, which focus on weight management and meal replacements, are marketed through a network marketing system comprising around 1 million independent distributors who conduct business in 58 countries in the Asia/Pacific Rim, Europe and the Americas. In 2002, the company had gross revenues of $1.8 billion.

The ads were produced by international direct-marketing agency In Clover Marketing, based in Los Angeles. The agency has also worked on projects for DIRECTV, Mitsubishi Motors of America, Pennzoil Quaker State and Guthy-Renker, among others.

"DRTV is an ideal match for Herbalife because it effectively and provocatively presents weight loss before and after scenarios that create impulse and urgency in the audience, thereby generating consumer response," said Alissa Stakgold, a partner at In Clover Marketing.