Crown Media Names Mediahub As Media AOR Posted on | Ad Age

Hallmark Channel parent Crown Media has tasked Mediahub to reposition the cable programmer in culture and scale its streaming offering.

Hallmark Channel parent Crown Media confirmed it has selected Mediahub as its media agency of record, as the cable TV programmer looks to reposition its image in the marketplace and differentiate itself in an increasingly crowded streaming landscape.

Best known for its original holiday movies, Crown Media has received criticism in recent years for its lack of diversity. The issue came to head in January 2020 when its longtime CEO Bill Abbott departed the company following the company’s controversial decision to pull an ad showing a same-sex couple (it later apologized and reinstated the ad).

Since then, Crown Media has named Wonya Lucas as its new CEO, and she has been working to make the channel group more inclusive and representative. In an interview with Ad Age earlier this month, Lucas said the brand is about “love and a sense of hope and optimism, which are universal themes regardless of who you are in the world.” Ultimately, people want to see themselves in the content, she said, and that there are cultural nuances that transcend race and gender that the company is looking to reflect in its storytelling moving forward.

At the same time, Crown Media has lagged its peers in the streaming wars. While the company does have its Hallmark Movies Now subscription platform, it has been slow to lean into the space, banking on the belief that its audience, which skews older, was not moving as quickly to streaming platforms as younger audiences.

Mediahub will look to help Crown Media scale its streaming offering in the marketplace and reposition where the brand lives in culture, according to a person familiar with the review. The IPG-owned agency will oversee media planning and buying for the company, whose channels include Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Crown Media began its agency review in January, according to a person familiar with the process. Mediahub replaces New York-based independent agency Noble People, which had been its agency-of-record since 2018.

Crown Media spent about $13 million in advertising in 2020, not including social media, according to Kantar, down from about $20 million in 2019.

This article was originally published on Ad Age