Signs Point to AKQA in Game Show Network Review

Although the client won’t yet render its final answer, all but one of the contestants in Game Show Network’s $5-7 million review have been sent packing.

Left standing is San Francisco’s AKQA (formerly Citron Haligman Bedecarré), which apparently still has to jump through a few more hoops before taking the prize. Fellow finalist Colby & Partners (formerly Colby Effler & Partners) in Santa Monica, Calif., was told last week it did not make the cut. The account had been at TBWA\Chiat\Day, San Francisco.

“It’s premature to be psyched about this,” said AKQA principal Kirk Citron. “I think our pitch went well, and we would be thrilled if it happens. But as of this moment we haven’t won anything.” As an aside, he said the shop’s name, which stands for All Known Questions Answered, would be a perfect fit for the Game Show Network.

Officials at the 6-year-old network have been tight-lipped about the review, but a representative did say the list is “narrowed down to one.” Even so, she stressed it was premature to conclude that AKQA is the winner.

“I swear on a stack of bibles it has not been awarded,” said the network’s director of public relations, Carrie Gerlach. She declined to elaborate.

The network, a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Digital, has had its share of growing pains as it seeks to build household penetration and viewership. It recently installed a new top executive, Rich Cronin, who is said to be eyeing a new name, logo and on-air image for the network.

As it stands, GSN says it reaches about 35 million homes, with programming culled from a library of old game shows. Cronin, former CEO of Fox Family Channel, has expressed a determination to increase the level of interactivity and create programming that appeals to younger viewers.

So far this year, the network has spent an estimated $3 million on advertising from TBWA\C\D. The two parted ways earlier this year. Agency officials said the objective was to find a “more boutique type of agency.”