U.S.-based Prettybird and the U.K.'s Sonny London have entered into a partnership to represent each other's directors on the companies' respective turfs. The agreement marks the joining of two high profile director and EP-owned production boutiques, both launched in 2007: Prettybird was founded by former HSI director Paul Hunter and EP Kerstin Emhoff, while director Fredrik Bond and MD Helen Kenny are the forces behind Sonny London.
The partnership gives the young shops a much needed international boost. "Helen and I both said that we wanted to find ourselves in the other's market," says Emhoff. "Neither of us wanted to take the whole world on alone." In the U.S., Prettybird will represent all Sonny directors except for Fredrik Bond: Jeff Labbe, Guy Manwaring, Tomas Jonsgarden, Emil Moller, Mattias Montero, Jeff Thomas and Rane Tiukkanen. Sonny's roster now includes Prettybird directors Paul Hunter and Peggy Sirota.
"I think this model works for our business as well, especially right now," says Emhoff. "Both of our companies can stay lean and flexible—that's how we started them. We approach this partnership like it's an extension of our own company. There are many opportunities to be developed, and it's exciting to be expanding the creative outside the U.S." Adds Kenny, "We have spent our first two years growing Sonny's position in the U.K. market and felt now was a great time to move forward and promote the company in America."
Current jobs include a Hunter-directed spot for Energy BBDO, shot in the U.K., and a Japanese project directed by Emil Moller, shot in New York.