GNC ends social media tracking work with Spong amid agency shift

The retailer has also parted ways with its creative agency Carmichael Lynch.

PITTSBURGH: Health and nutrition products retailer GNC has ended its relationship with Spong, which handled social media tracking and analytics for the company.

The agency, which began working with GNC last year, lost the account in the first quarter of 2015, said president Doug Spong via email.

"We were hired by the former CEO, who was ousted late last year along with his entire senior team," Spong added.

Former GNC chairman and CEO Joe Fortunato ended his nearly 10-year run at the company last fall, and former Vitamin Shoppe president and COO Michael Archbold replaced him. Weeks before Fortunato’s departure, GNC’s longtime CFO Michael Nuzzo also left the company.

A source familiar with the subject said the relationship with Spong ended as part of GNC’s decision to change all of its agency partners after Q1, including creative AOR Carmichael Lynch.

Spong never handled PR for GNC. The brand has worked with Marketcom PR on corporate communications for a number of years and continues to do so.

Last week, GNC replaced Carmichael Lynch with creative shop Consigliere, media planning and buying firm Crossmedia, and digital agency 22squared, according to numerous reports.

GNC reported a 0.7% decrease in Q4 2014 revenue, year-over-year, to $607.2 million. For the full year, the company posted a decrease of 0.5% to $2.61 billion, compared with 2013.

At the end of March, GNC said it would create new standards and procedures to test supplements after the New York State Attorney General’s office accused a number of retailers earlier this year of using unverifiable labels on products.

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