Deal Expands WongDoody’s Fit TV Account

Just five months after landing the estimated $10 million Fit TV account, WongDoody is poised to expand its assignment as the client prepares to join with another cable network.
Earlier this month, Fox Television, Fit TV’s parent company, announced an agreement to merge the New York-based lifestyle and fitness cable network with America’s Health Network.
The new venture, which has yet to be named, is expected to reach more than 18 million U.S. homes (Fit TV currently reaches about 10 million) through cable and satellite distribution, and millions more throughout the world via the Internet, according to Fox projections. A separate 50-50 joint venture will manage Nashville, Tenn.-based AHN’s Internet site, www.ahn.com, and search engine, www.galaxy.com. Fox will manage the new entities.
WongDoody executives acknowledged the merger will mean more business, but added that they will need to rework the message they have been developing for the client over the past several months.
“We need to find a new positioning since AHN is more health-oriented,” said Ben Wiener, manager partner of the agency’s Santa Monica, Calif., office. “Because of the number of homes involved now, it places a much higher emphasis on ratings.”
WongDoody broke trade ads for Fit TV’s January relaunch, but the consumer work that was to follow has been put on hold. “It wouldn’t make much sense to come out with an identity package and then have to change it,” Wiener said.
The agency is working on a different identity package that will likely break later this spring, Wiener said.
Fit TV’s programs include Fit Resort & Spa, Fitting It In and Power Living. AHN’s programming features three Ask The Doctor series and five newer series: Women & Children First, High on Health, O.R.: Behind the Mask, Rescue 911 and Body, Mind & Spirit, featuring an alternative medicine practioner and country singer Naomi Judd.