Viacom's MTV, VH1, Logo Shake Up Media Agency Duties

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'Floribama Shore'
'Floribama Shore' Credit: MTV

Viacom cable channels MTV, VH1 and Logo have switched up their media agency structure.

MullenLowe Mediahub, which has been VH1's media agency of record since 2013, will also handle traditional and digital media planning and buying for MTV and Logo.

Spark Foundry, which had been MTV's incumbent media agency, will now concentrate on addressable advertising for MTV, VH1 and Logo via platforms such as DirecTV.

Viacom made the moves without an official review.

John Moore, global president of MullenLowe Mediahub, says the agency is "thrilled to be awarded the MTV account and play a small role in their surging momentum."

The agency has has a streak of wins this year, winning work from brands like Chipotle, Ulta Beauty, Staples and Remy Cointreau. Spark this year has won media accounts for Southwest Airlines, Bel Group and KFC's U.S. business. It referred requests for comment to the client.

MTV spent $5.7 million in measured media in the U.S. in 2016, according to Kantar Media. VH1 spent an estimated $11.7 million that year, and Logo spent an estimated $888,400.

Logo, originally geared toward an LGBT audience and now broadened to culture and lifestyle programming, previously worked with Media Storm for its media.

In October 2016, Ad Age reported that MTV was seeking agencies for creative and media support as it looked to reinvent itself. Also in that month, Chris McCarthy was named president of MTV, VH1 and Logo.

MTV had previously enlisted Mediahub to help on a project basis with TRL, the VMAs and the Movie and TV Awards. It's now working with the agency on the "Floribama Shore," a show that follows young adults partying on Panama City Beach in the vein of "Jersey Shore." MTV says the show, which premiered Nov. 27, was the network's biggest launch since 2014.

Kate Keough, senior VP of consumer marketing and strategy for MTV, VH1 and Logo, says Mediahub worked with the brand to engage with viewers and "Jersey Shore" fans, including hosting events like bar nights and SEC tailgates to meet the cast.

"I think we need to find new experiences to bring the brand to consumers," Keough says.

Younger viewers don't watch TV the way they did when MTV began in the '80s. Snapchat and Instagram reign over eyeballs that used to watch TV music videos for hours on end.

"Their habits are changing, and we're not going to be able to change it back," Keough says. Some of that means "making sure we're talking to our consumers and young viewers where they are in a way they can understand and relate to."

MTV plans to run 30 new and returning shows in 2018, including "Catfish" and "Siesta Key," a reality show set in Florida. The latter proved a blast from the past for fans of "Laguna Beach," which followed wealthy teenagers living in the eponymous California coastal town. "Siesta Key" helped MTV achieve its first summertime ratings growth in six years.

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