Colby Gets Gold’s Gym, More Suzuki

LOS ANGELES Dentsu’s Colby & Partners has won the account of Gold’s Gym International and is also expected to pick up regional dealer advertising for American Suzuki Motor Corp., the agency confirmed.

Colby in Santa Monica, Calif., landed the Gold’s Gym account after pitching the creative and media business last week. The other contender was independent McCarthy Mambro Bertino in Marina del Rey, Calif.

The account shift comes only five months after Gold’s awarded its account to Henderson Advertising, an independent shop in Greenville, S.C., that has also worked with Gold’s Gym franchisees in South Carolina. Colby had been a finalist in the previous review [, June 2].

While Gold’s ad budget has been just over $1 million, the client has been reaching out to individual gym owners to ask for increased contributions for the national ad fund. The individual gyms collectively spend about $15-20 million to advertise their clubs.

Al Perkinson, senior vice president of account services at Henderson, said the shop parted with Gold’s in mid-September due to “strategic and creative differences.” The agency had not broken any ads for Gold’s, he said.

The client in Venice, Calif., did not return calls seeking comment.

Additionally, Colby is expected to pick up regional dealer advertising for American Suzuki Motor Corp., a Suzuki representative said. The shop already handles national advertising for the automaker in Brea, Calif. Suzuki has spent $52 million on dealer ads through August 2003, and $30 million on national advertising during the same time period, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Suzuki is set to meet with dealers later this month to obtain input on the proposed consolidation, said client representative Celeste Spier. Currently, more than a dozen agencies handle dealer advertising for Suzuki, she said.

The automaker is seeking “consistency throughout the country” in its advertising, said Spier. The consolidation is expected to occur in the first and second quarters of 2004.