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Deutsch Departs Weight Watchers' Review

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NEW YORK Interpublic Group's Deutsch has withdrawn from the estimated $45 million Weight Watchers review, sources said.

Final presentations are scheduled to begin next week. The remaining contenders are IPG's Lowe, WPP Group's Young & Rubicam and Omnicom Group's TBWA\Chiat\Day, all in New York.

Sources said New York-based Deutsch withdrew because of the recent client executive changes. Miriam Jordan Keane, chief brand officer at Weight Watchers International, will take over the duties of former vp of marketing for North America Eliot Glazer, who left the company last week. Deutsch had a good rapport with Glazer, and his departure convinced agency executives their chances of winning had diminished, sources said.

Boston consultancy Pile and Co., which is overseeing the process, could not be reached for comment, nor could Deutsch executives.

Glazer had been leading meetings with agencies in the review, but left unexpectedly about two weeks before final presentations [Adweek, Nov. 1].

A client representative said Glazer's departure would not affect the time line of the pitch; Keane picks up his duties until a replacement is found.