Digitas Launches Branded-Content Shop

Third Act to Produce Ideas for Brands and Manage Distribution Strategies

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Digitas is formally getting into the branded-content game with the launch of a new offering called The Third Act.

Third Act will develop and produce branded-content ideas and manage distribution strategies for the content. It sits under the umbrella of Digitas, part of Publicis Groupe, and will serve both Digitas clients and its own roster.

"It's more and more difficult for brands to get their messages in front of consumers," said Mark Beeching, global chief creative officer at Digitas. "But at the same time there are more opportunities for brands to create content."

The unit will be run by senior VP-managing director Stephanie Sarofian. At this point, the agency is mum on which brands Third Act will be working with. Mr. Beeching did say that one upcoming project will be a sequel to the "Smart Show," a series of short webisodes on clever ideas -- such as a band that made music with typewriters. The first series was sponsored by Holiday Inn Express.

Part of The Third Act's reason for being is so that it can trawl from a wide variety of content creators, producers and distributors and create an "open-source model."

Said Mr. Beeching, "If this were a subset of Digitas, it wouldn't create focus for what's a collaborative model."
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