M&C Saatchi lands Holmes Place account

The Holmes Place chain of health clubs has appointed M&C Saatchi as

its first agency with a brief to extend its appeal to people who feel

too intimidated to step inside.



The company, which has 61 clubs in the UK and continental Europe, is

putting £2 million behind the new initiative. It supersedes the

current arrangement under which all creative work has been handled

in-house.



For M&C Saatchi, the win is the result of a new-business strategy that

aims to augment its portfolio with some modest-spending clients which

present interesting strategic and creative possibilities.



Its appointment follows a direct approach to Holmes Place bosses by the

agency.



The company, which also had discussions with Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO,

appointed M&C Saatchi without a formal pitch and on the strength of its

strategic recommendations.



Media planning and buying remains with Allied Media.



The new advertising, using TV, radio and posters and due to break at the

end of the year, will exploit the fact that only 6 per cent of the

population are health club members.



The campaign, aimed at professionals of both sexes, will talk mostly to

people who are reluctant to join health clubs because they think they

are full of fitness fanatics and will find the atmosphere

intimidating.



Mario Pederzolli, the Holmes Place marketing director, said: "M&C

Saatchi will spearhead an aggressive new marketing strategy, enabling us

to further develop our brand and attract and retain members."



Carrie Hindmarsh, the agency group account director on the business,

said: "We want to bring to Holmes Place the same level of energy and

creativity that it has invested in itself."



Holmes Place claims its dominant position in London and the south-east

has enabled it to focus its marketing spend effectively and develop its

expansion into targeted cities and urban areas.