LOS ANGELES: Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, two plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit against California’s Proposition 8 ballot that banned gay marriage rights in the state, have hired MWW as their AOR.
Katami and Zarrillo fought a four-and-a-half-year battle to invalidate Proposition 8 and won when the ballot was overturned on June 26, 2013. The couple was officially married two days later by then-Mayor Antonio Villariagosa at Los Angeles City Hall on live TV.
MWW, whose recently formed LGBT practice is leading work for the couple, was brought on last month to help Katami and Zarrillo with the launch of the HBO Documentary Films’ project The Case Against 8. The documentary chronicling the fight for marriage equality will debut in select theaters in early June and air on HBO on June 23.
With a core team of four staffers working on the account, MWW is handling media relations for the couple and the documentary launch, as well as messaging. The firm will also support a "special celebration" that will take place on June 28 to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, said Stephen Macias, MWW’s SVP and LGBT practice lead.
Zarrillo said MWW will also help them "build our brand as people who have lived ordinary lives and did something we feel is extraordinary."
While the initial Proposition 8 fight was about marriage equality, Zarrillo said the couple wants to work on gay rights issues in general going forward. They also signed up for Campus Pride's Speaker's Bureau to speak on college campuses.
Katami and Zarrillo selected MWW because they were familiar with Macias’ previous work and his reach within the LGBT community.
Earlier this month, MWW acquired Macias’ firm, Macias Media Group, which focused on connecting clients with LGBT consumers.
Macias said MWW’s main goal is to highlight Katami and Zarrillo’s work and "make it matter even more."
The contract with MWW is for one year. Budget information was not disclosed.