At the root of what's billed by both parties as an amicable split are leadership changes at the TV network, and a move of TLC's marketing operations from the East to West Coast, people familiar with the matter said.
Richmond, Va.-based Martin Agency -- whose roster includes Geico, Wal-Mart, and most recently, Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection -- was tapped as TLC's agency of record in early 2006, and that summer rolled out its "Life Lessons" campaign to target the network's 28- to 42-year-old demographic.
TLC spent a total of $20.2 million on U.S. measured media from the beginning of 2006 through June 2007, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
Whether TLC is seeking a new agency partner or plans to go it alone remains to be seen. "They've always had an internal [marketing] capability and were always doing internal work before," said Mike Hughes, Martin Agency's president and creative director. "TLC was a joy to work with and while we're sad to see them go, we wish them the best."
A network spokeswoman said: "We thank them for all their hard work, they were a tremendous partner."