Woo Edges Phelps for L.A. Fitness

LOS ANGELES L.A. Fitness has awarded its creative and media duties to the Woo Agency following a closed review between Woo and The Phelps Group, the client confirmed.

Andrea Chan, director of marketing at the Irvine, Calif.-based chain, said that both agencies had been referred to the company’s marketing department. Even though Phelps, Santa Monica, Calif., had done project work for the firm in San Diego and Arizona, Woo was seen as the best agency for enhancing the brand in new markets across the country, she said. Chan projected the chain’s annual growth rate at 20 percent.

Despite its California-specific name, L.A. Fitness operates 114 exercise clubs in nine states, including New York, New Jersey and Florida.

David Abehsera, vice president of Woo, Culver City, Calif., said he expects L.A. Fitness’s ad budget to rise rapidly. A new campaign will include radio, print, online and outdoor, and that TV, though unlikely before year-end, is “probably coming,” he said. In 2003, the chain spent $500,000 on advertising, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Chan agreed that ad spending “would grow as we build more clubs.”

“Our main goal is to give them a distinct personality,” said Abehsera, “while giving people a reason to join today.” He added that Valerie Moizel would lead creative.

Woo, which once represented Gold’s Gym, handles The Good Guys, among other clients.