Publicis Gets to Shape Curves for Women’s Image

Publicis in Mid America has won the advertising business of health and fitness franchiser Curves for Women.

The Dallas agency outperformed crosstown competitor The Rich-ards Group in a review to claim the estimated $15-18 million creative and media account.

Mark Bateman, Publicis’ co-president, credited the victory to his shop’s experience with franchises such as Subway and TGI Friday’s Restaurants, as well as retail operations targeting women like home decor chain Garden Ridge and Zales Jewelers.

Another factor was Publicis’ understanding of the Waco, Texas-based client’s core business. Curves for Women is a combination weight-loss and fitness center.

“They understood we understood their values,” Bateman said.

Publicis is charged with creating a national image campaign, which is expected to launch in January.

The assignment, the client’s first coast-to-coast advertising effort, is scheduled to include print, television, radio, interactive, direct-mail and collateral components. Earlier work had been handled by individual franchisees.

“[Curves for Women is] a unique concept, one that can truly affect people’s lives,” said Publicis creative director Ted Barton. “This kind of opportunity from a creative marketing perspective doesn’t come around all that often.”

Founded in 1995, the chain bills itself as the world’s largest health and fitness franchise, with more than 3,500 locations and one million members in North America and Europe. Rivals include weight-loss centers like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, as well as national fitness chains such as 24-Hour Fitness and Bally Total Fitness.

Barton said his shop’s work could expand to include overseas markets as the client continues to grow globally: “It stands to reason there are opportunities for us down the road.”

The agency team servicing the account includes Publicis Dialog in Dallas, which will provide public relations support, and Publicis Dialog in Salt Lake City, which will oversee direct-marketing initiatives.