A relationship begun through another client, Miller Brewing, helped Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis secure the $8-10 million account of Weight Watchers Frozen Foods.
Fallon was named agency for the frozen-food line following a review involving at least three other agencies. The low-calorie products will be marketed under a single brand name, "Smart Ones by Weight Watchers," according to a statement from the Pittsburgh-based division of H.J. Heinz.
The business was previously handled on a project basis by Lowe & Partners/SMS in New York.
Agencies previously identified as taking part in the review were Arnold Communications in Boston, and Bozell Worldwide and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, both in New York.
Weight Watchers Frozen Foods' last agency of record was Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor in New York, which split with the client about a year ago and did not participate in the review.
"[Weight Watchers] has provided our agency with a tremendous opportunity to help turn around a legendary brand," said Fallon chairman Pat Fallon in a statement.
Fallon's entry into the business was aided by its relationship with Neil Harrison, president and chief executive officer at Weight Watchers. Harrison worked with Fallon last year while serving as vice president of marketing at Miller Brewing.
In 1996, Fallon was briefly the agency for the Miller Beer brand, an attempt by the brewer at a new flagship brand. Harrison headed marketing on that effort, but advertising for the brand was curtailed before Fallon created any work for it.
In December 1996, Fallon was assigned the Miller Lite brand, which it continues to handle.
Harrison left the brewer in January of this year.