LOS ANGELES: Less than a month after her unexpected firing from entertainment PR powerhouse PMK/HBH, Leslee Dart has opened her own shop.
Dart confirmed last week that she is "starting an agency," called The Dart Group, currently based in temporary office space in New York. For now it's a solo endeavor, with one assistant and plans to hire an account executive in the near future, she said.
Dart declined to name clients that had left PMK to follow her, but media reports indicate that a roster of high-profile directors and actors are already on board at The Dart Group, including Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, Ron Howard, and Ellen Barkin, among others.
Although PMK head Pat Kingsley previously pointed out that Dart had a noncompete clause in her contract, industry experts say that it might not be enforced if Dart does not proactively try to raid her former employers' clients.
The surprise firing of Dart, after 23 years with the firm, has left some wondering if parent company IPG was shifting PMK's focus to corporate clients.