Bridging The Advertainment Divide

IEP touts access and neutrality

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%%STORYIMAGE_LEFT%% After studying emerging content/commerce convergence for 18 months, brand integration consultant Mitch Kanner is shuttering The Idea Bridge and hanging a shingle with the backing and partnership of two of Hollywood's leading players.

According to execs close to the situation, former Walt Disney Television Chairman Rich Frank and high-powered entertainment attorney Skip Brittenham will join Kanner under the banner of Integrated Entertainment Partners LLC, Beverly Hills. As the corps of middlemen bridging Hollywood and Madison Avenue grows, Kanner and his partners are touting access and neutrality as a potent mix to separate them from the pack.

Frank was one of Michael Eisner's most-trusted lieutenants, and he was a close collaborator with current Dreamworks honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg during his Disney stint

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Because of IEP's far-reaching tentacles, the plan is to have a presence in every major content business: film, TV and music. According to one Hollywood exec who spoke under the condition of anonymity,the addition of Frank, who was a driving force in the broadcast network successes of such pop culture touchstones as "Happy Days" and Tim Allen's "Home Improvement" over the years, could facilitate dealmaking in the television arena.

Brittenham's law firm, Ziffren, Britttenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie and Stiffelman represents Frank and other significant influencers and talent in the entertainment industry. Brittenham will maintain his current offices.

Kanner spent eight years at James Cameron's Digital Domain, a commercial production digital-effects company. He has been successful in fostering relationships with key executives like WPP Group's Martin Sorrell and Omnicom Group's Bruce Redditt, whom he intends to pair with the major power players in Frank and Brittenham's rolodex.

The final partner in the new enterprise is Chris Gebhardt, who joins from Ogilvy & Mather where he served as executive director of emerging technology and innovation, focusing on branded entertainment opportunities for the agency's client base.

All four partners, Brittenham,Frank, Gebhardt, and Kanner declined comment about the new enterprise.

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