Margeotes Ramps Up Entertainment Unit

MDC shop hooks up with Broadway producer

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%%STORYIMAGE_LEFT%% Margeotes Fertitta & Partners, New York, part of Canadian holding company MDC Partners, is jumping into the branded-entertainment fray with the aim of helping marketers create properties that they can own.

The company has brought on board a Tony award-winning producer John Schreiber to run a separate unit called Lafayette Productions, of which Schreiber will have 50% equity. Schreiber was lead producer of Broadway show, "Elaine Stritch at Liberty," which will air in TV form on HBO in May and is bringing with him a number of client relationships including audio company Harman Kardon.

"What's different about us is that I am a producer/marketer rather than a marketer who knows producers," said Schreiber who is aiming to get an ambitious bi-annual Latin arts festival called "The Hemisphere Festival" off the ground in Miami. The festival would include the best of Latino film, music and visual arts.

%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% Schreiber is also discussing his ambitions with other MDC firms in the U.S., including Miami-based Crispin Porter & Bogusky, one of the more inventive practitioners of alternative marketing. Schreiber has plenty of experience tying marketers to events. He ran his own event marketing company, the John Schreiber Group for ten years. Benson & Hedges Blues series and the Toyota Comedy Festival are among his credits.

Commenting on the new unit, George Fertitta, president of Margeotes Fertitta & Partners, said: "I think 75% of our business will come from non-existing clients. We'll develop broadcast and cable programs, festivals and promotions." He said the idea to get into the branded entertainment area was inspired by an increased activity in the sector. The company is already in development with some projects for existing clients who include Godiva Chocolatier, Bacardi, and The Food Network. Fertitta declined to elaborate.

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