Edelman buys Matter to boost entertainment unit

LOS ANGELES: Edelman has acquired branded entertainment and content company Matter as the agency hopes to build upon its already-established entertainment practice.

LOS ANGELES: Edelman has acquired branded entertainment and content company Matter as the agency hopes to build upon its already-established entertainment practice.

Matter will merge with Edelman's existing practice, led by Ferris Thompson, president of entertainment marketing, and will operate as Matter, an Edelman Company. It will have offices in New York and LA.

Edelman previously worked with Matter on projects for its clients Warner Bros. and Axe. The agency had been looking to expand its entertainment division for some time and found Matter to be the best fit, noted Gail Becker, the firm's Western region president and LA GM.

While Edelman already crafts entertainment marketing programs with PR at the core, Matter's capabilities "not only give clients more bang for their buck, so to speak, but it also allows their communications messages to get through every aspect of their programs," Becker said. "It's what clients are asking for."

Established in 2003, Matter was founded by partners Andy Marks and David Freeman, both of whom will remain with the firm as MDs. Thompson will also adopt an MD title.
The time was right for Matter to join forces with a global-reaching agency, said Marks.

"We needed to scale beyond where we were and offer clients more," Marks explained. "PR can really be the leading creative charge among entertainment marketing services."

Branded entertainment has evolved from being one-dimensional and television-oriented to a more multi-platform concept, added Freeman.

"You can [now] take a great idea and stream it across online, wireless, broadband, podcasts, and various other applications," Freeman said. "TV can be in there, but it might not be the leading platform."

Matter clients have included Target, Ford Motor Co., and Saturn. Recently, Matter partnered with XM Satellite Radio and Knitting Factory Entertainment to develop an emerging-music concert series, now airing on XM indie rock station XMU. 

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