Movie Studio Weinstein Co. Holds $100 Million Media Review

Filmmaker Was Behind Oscar-Winner 'The King's Speech'

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The Weinstein Co. is conducting a review of its media-buying and -planning account, Ad Age has learned.

The Hollywood film studio is embarking on the move just months after it named Stephen Bruno, most recently head of consumer marketing at HBO, its president of marketing. According to people familiar with the matter, the budget could exceed $100 million. The company spent $91 million on measured media in 2010, per Kantar data.

It's understood that a request-for-proposal was circulated to agencies last year, but shortly after starting the process the company put the review on hold. The company has now begun the process in earnest again.

The review is good news for the small handful of firms that don't already work with a movie house, but it's also a move that could end a 15-year relationship between incumbent Palisades Media Group and the founders of the company, the Weinstein brothers.

Palisades came on board three years after film moguls Bob and Harvey Weinstein sold Miramax to The Walt Disney Co.for $70 million in 1993. The Los Angeles-based firm serviced the account until 2003. Soon after, the Weinstein brothers left Walt Walt Disney Co. Co. and in 2005 and the media agency resumed media buying and planning for the brothers' new film studio. Palisades and Weinstein representatives did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

When the company announced it would enter the TV market last January, the firm moved its senior VP- marketing at the time, Francois Martin, into the role of exec VP-TV sales and marketing operations. Mr. Martin is said to be involved in the review process, as well as Amy Gruberg, who joined the company as a consultant a little over a year ago. She was most recently at the Gary Group, but in the past she served as head of media for Dreamworks and senior VP-media director at MGM.

Also involved in the process is Mr. Bruno, who returned to the studio in September. According to LinkedIn, he joined the company as assistant to Harvey Weinstein in 2003 and quickly climbed the ladder to director of marketing. He was VP-marketing by 2009 and left in 2010 to become director-consumer marketing for HBO.

The company, which has a 25% stake in Starz Media and is a producer for Bravo's "Project Runway," won its first Academy Award for Best Picture at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards last year for "The King's Speech." Key debuts in the past few months include "My Week with Marilyn," "The Artist" and "The Iron Lady."

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