LOS ANGELES: Edelman is creating a dedicated global practice focused on digital entertainment, rights, and technology practice.
Gail Becker, Western Region president and LA GM, will oversee the new group. LA-based SVP Jacqueline Price will lead US operations and London-based director Jonathan Hargreaves will run European operations.
Becker, who before joining Edelman six years ago was VP of communications at Warner Home Video, said the expansion “really did happen organically. We thought, ‘We’re getting a tremendous amount of attention. Our clients are the biggest in the industry. Why not formalize this practice and expand it globally?’”
Becker said she hopes to garner clients in the mobile industry and grow an intellectual property-rights practice.
Along with Becker, the office is staffed by professionals with experience working in content at studios, music labels, broadcast and cable networks and industry associations.
Becker said that complexity of media drives the need for specialization in digital entertainment. With consumers making their own content and the sheer number of distribution channels, Becker said, “The communications channels are growing exponentially.”
Jim Noonan, SVP of worldwide strategic promotions and communications at client Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, said the change won’t substantially alter its relationship with the agency.
Edelman works with Warner Brothers Home Entertainment on a number of digital entertainment projects, including HD formats for DVDs, and a new electronic sell-through agreement with CinemaNow.
“(The expansion) seems to be a natural next step.” Noonan said.
The new practice has a list of a dozen high-profile clients, such as Starbucks Entertainment, Xbox, MySpace, Avid, and CinemaNow.