4 Agencies Compete for Weider

Four shops, three on the West Coast and one in the Midwest, are competing for Weider Nutrition’s advertising account, with spending estimated at $12-15 million, sources said last week.

Pitching the account are Arian Lowe & Travis, Chicago; Butler, Shine & Stern, Sausolito, Calif.; GMO/Hill Holliday, San Francisco; and VitroRobertson, San Diego, sources said. Presentations are taking place throughout the month.

A representative for the Salt Lake City marketer of energy drinks, bars, vitamins and sports nutrition supplements, could not be reached for comment. Agency officials either could not be reached or declined to discuss the review.

It was not known if there was an incumbent. The last shop known to have worked with Weider Nutrition is Sasquatch Advertising in Portland, Ore. [Adweek, Feb. 8, 1999].

Weider Nutrition is a publicly traded company and part of an organization started 61 years ago by legendary bodybuilder Joe Weider. Weider Nutrition went public in 1998 and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the WNI symbol.

The company’s brand names include Schiff, American Body Building, Tiger’s Milk, Multipower and Multaben products, which are available at health food stores, health clubs and through other channels.

Weider Health & Fitness, which includes Weider Publications, spent $21 million in 1999 and $13 million through July of this year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Advertising for Weider’s publications, which include Shape and Muscle and Fitness, are not part of the review, according to sources.

According to Weider’s most recent quarterly report, sales and marketing costs rose 31 percent to $26 million for the year’s first quarter, “primarily from increased advertising, promotion and personnel costs associated with the company’s brand-building initiatives.”