Bologna, Merkin Open Toy With Oxygen

NEW YORK The former leaders of Fallon’s New York office have launched a new boutique agency called Toy, and its first client is the Oxygen Network, the shop said.

Toy’s principals are Anne Bologna and Ari Merkin, former president and creative director, respectively, of Fallon’s New York outpost, which agency chairman Pat Fallon decided to close in July. The new agency is based in New York.

Before taking the reins of Fallon New York in January 2003, Bologna was planning director at the Publicis Groupe shop’s headquarters in Minneapolis. Before Fallon, Merkin held creative posts at MDC Partners’ agencies Cliff Freeman and Partners and Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

Oxygen awarded its account to Toy after a review that also involved Modernista! of Boston and DeVito/Verdi in New York, according to Toy. The New York client spent less than $1 million in measured media between January and June and more than $4 million last year, per TNS Media Intelligence.

Toy was selected based on the principals’ track records, their grasp of Oxygen’s audience and ability to create buzz, said Debby Beece, president of programming and marketing at Oxygen Media.