NEW YORK -- General Nutrition Cos. has ended its relationship with New York shop TBWA\Chiat\Day and will eventually "need an agency," said Michael Tam, evp and chief marketing officer at the Pittsburgh company.
Tam arrived in June from Nordstrom Product Group, where he was an evp.
For now, GNC is relying on freelancers and an in-house design team, Tam said. Collectively, they have been preparing for the unveiling of a nationwide store redesign, scheduled for next week.
The event will be backed by print ads, public relations and in-store promotions, including "scratch and win" giveaways, Tam said.
Still, as of now, Tam is not conducting a search. However, that has not stopped agencies from contacting him. "Let me put it this way: Agencies are certainly talking to us," said Tam, adding, "You name them, they're talking to me."
As for the future, Tam acknowledged, "We are definitely going to need an agency," adding that a search was "in the cards." But he declined to give a timeline and further stressed that GNC is in a "transitional phase at this point" and "kind of on hold" in terms of finding a marketing partner.
TBWA\C\D was hired in March to work on in-store graphics and signage with the hope that the project would develop into a long-term relationship, said sources. Before that, the client had divided its ad duties between two Pittsburgh shops: Marc USA and Ten United. GNC's last lead agency was Deutsch in New York, which handled the business from 1996 until last year.
GNC spent nearly $30 million in measured media last year.