IPG Invests In Urban Advertainers

Steve Stoute is is an American record executive, most famous for being rapper Nas’s off-and-on manager since 1995. Stoute is also the founder of Translation Marketing, a company that matches pop-star spokespersons with corporations that want to promote their brands. He has worked to pair Gwen Stefani with Hewlett-Packard, Justin Timberlake with McDonald’s, Beyoncé Knowles with Tommy Hilfiger, and Jay-Z with Reebok.
According to today’s New York Times, Stoute–who sold Translation last October for an estimated $10 million to $15 million to the Interpublic Group of Companies in New York–is launching a new entity, Translation Advertising. Interpublic will own 49 percent of the new ad shop, while he and Jay-Z (a.k.a. Shawn Carter), will own the majority share.
“If we sit in a room,” Mr. Carter said, “and offer our ideas of how to reach consumers, how to speak to them — and this is not a cocky statement — put us up against anything, and we’ll win our fair share of battles.”
The article notes that Jay-Z is not the only urban entertainment figure to become involved in advertising.
Spike Lee leads an agency, Spike DDB, that is part of the DDB Worldwide division of Omnicom. And Damon Dash has announced the start-up of BlockSavvy.com, an interactive ad agency and social-networking Web site.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.