Equinox Weighs Finalists DiNoto, Sugartown

NEW YORK Equinox Fitness, a national chain of upscale gymnasiums, is considering two New York boutiques for its estimated $10 million account, sources said.

Independents DiNoto and Sugartown Creative have risen to the front of pack after presentations by at least three shops. Independent StrawberryFrog pulled out of contention two weeks ago, sources said.

The winning shop will replace Lipman, a New York fashion agency whose clients include Burberry, which has held the account for about two years. It could not be determined if Lipman defended the account. Past work from Lipman includes print and outdoor ads featuring Kill Bill assassin Chiaki Kuriyama, volleyball player Gabrielle Reece and the tagline, “It’s not fitness. It’s life.” The work positioned the gym as a tony alternative to Bally Total Fitness.

Lipman won the New York-based client’s account in October 2003 after a mutual friend connected creative director David Lipman with Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak. The shop bypassed the review after Lipman sent a video explaining his philosophy that the club should sell itself as mainstay in patrons’ lives. Lipman himself used Equinox to lose nearly 50 pounds.

Sources said the client is looking for a variety of marketing approaches from traditional to digital. Neither the client nor the incumbent returned calls. Contending agencies could not be reached.