LOS ANGELES: Rogers & Cowan is merging Film Fashion, its U.S. celebrity red carpet outreach arm, with ITB Worldwide, the London-based celebrity and popular culture shop it purchased last May.
Film Fashion is set to be combined with ITB on March 1. The deal will give ITB celebrity showrooms, which help brands get their products in front of bold face names before red carpet events, in New York, London, and Los Angeles.
R&C does not plan to reduce staff in the wake of the merger, but expects to hire employees in the U.S. and UK, said an agency spokesperson. The heads of Film Fashion, Carla Blizzard and Lauren Stillman, will continue to oversee the North America showroom and VIP services and continue to report to R&C U.S. leadership, as well as ITB MD Emma Gregson.
Gregson and Alice Johnstone, who leads ITB’s European VIP practice, and MD Matthew Pitcher will lead operations in the U.K.
Gregson said the agency decided to merge Film Fashion with ITB shortly after Rogers & Cowan bought ITB.
"We were meeting our new agency partners, and it became so clear we were really offering very similar services," Gregson said. "It made sense look to align and further to capitalize on the opportunities. At the end of last year, we began discussing making things simpler for our clients and coming together under one name."
Gregson added that there are differences in brand and celebrity relationships in Europe versus the U.S., but there is considerable cross-talk and demand in both regions for representation in the other.
"Things do work differently in the different markets, but there are a lot of European brands that will solely seek ITB’s U.S. focus on red carpet dressing," she said. "Whereas there are a lot of brands in the U.S. looking to tap into the U.K. as well as European markets, not just in terms of red carpet dressing, which is a real sweet spot, but also in terms of product gifting, which the U.K. and European team excels at."
Gregson said celebrity product placements remain extremely valuable, even with the rise of influencers and social media.
"[Our] guys know stylists, they know publicists, they know the talent directly, and they know how to get the products onto people or into peoples’ hands," she explained. "They are true believers. We are talking to managers, lawyers, and publicists, and it is a different set of relationships and different set of skills"