Fitness First in fresh hire to drive public health role

Fitness First, Britain’s most popular health and fitness club brand, has switched agencies as part of a new strategy to ‘lead the news debate on exercise and fitness’.

It has replaced two-year incumbent Promote PR with FD Consumer Dynamics (FDCD), the consumer arm of the City PR firm. FDCD will be its retained agency for consumer comms for the next 12 months.
The agency will promote the annual New You Achievement Awards, which aim to garner positive coverage for Fitness First by recognising club members who have, for instance, shed pounds or kept fit while battling against a disease.

It will also support Fitness First's link with the Government via the Associate Parliamentary Health Group.

FDCD will seek to position Fitness First as having an important role to play in improving public health.

The agency reports to head of marketing Lynda Brown. Its brief has a greater national emphasis than that previously handled by Promote PR, which focused on promoting clubs regionally, in addition to handling trade and events work.

Fitness First is a multinational operation, with over 400 clubs in 15 countries – around a third of its gyms are in the UK. FDCD's brief is solely for the UK.

The company is owned by BC Partners, which bought the chain from another private equity firm – Cinven – in September last year for £835m. Cinven only acquired Fitness First in June 2003.
Financial Dynamics advised Fitness First on City comms during its sale to BC.

It is believed annual fees for the consumer account are around £100,000.

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