Plans to Focus on Branded Entertainment Deals

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LOS ANGELES -- Marketing vet Roger Fishman, who oversaw entertainment deals for such corporate clients as Procter & Gamble Co., has left Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency to form a new branded-entertainment venture.
Former CAA exec Roger Fishman was well-known to Madison Avenue.

As of May 8, Mr. Fishman had already left the agency. While he is not yet ready to discuss formal plans for his new company, the new venture will be based in Los Angeles and focus on developing nontraditional advertising strategies.

Ends year of speculation

The move didn’t come as much of a surprise to executives in Hollywood or on Madison Avenue, considering that the departure ends more than a year of speculation on both coasts that Mr. Fishman was planning on leaving CAA. Mr. Fishman and CAA declined to comment.

CAA’s corporate consulting arm represents clients such as P&G, the Coca-Cola Co., Hasbro, the Indy Racing League, Nextel and its subsidiary Boost Mobile looking to build entertainment marketing strategies around film, TV, music and video games, or individual talent repped by the agency. It brokered the deal between Coca-Cola and Fox’s American Idol, for example.

The unit, which employs more than 20 agents, most recently signed Starwood Hotels & Resorts and clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch as clients.

Mr. Fishman personally oversaw P&G, the IRL and Hollister, a spin-off of Abercrombie & Fitch, and worked with Motorola, no longer a CAA client.

Most senior-level marketing agent

He was the group’s most senior-level marketing agent and most recognized by Madison Avenue until the agency recruited Mike Windsor last October. Mr. Windsor previously served as CEO of WPP Group’s OgilvyInteractive Worldwide, and was one of the early movers in building a global digital agency network.

Since joining the agency, Mr. Windsor has headed the corporate consulting unit as the head of marketing.

Mr. Fishman joined CAA in late 2001 as head of the corporate consulting unit, which at that time had a staff of 11 agents.

But over time, as the division transitioned from a mostly new-media team into its current state, Mr. Fishman’s role changed into one where few, if any, of the agents reported directly to him. That waning position of power is said to have helped fuel most of the rumors of Mr. Fishman’s desire to leave and lead to his eventual departure.

Formerly at News Corp.

Before joining CAA, Mr. Fishman served as executive vice president of marketing at News Corp., where he developed the company’s worldwide integrated sales and marketing team and worked with the SkyDigital TV service in the U.K., TV Guide, HarperCollins and Fox cable channels. He reported directly to then-president Peter Chernin.

Mr. Fishman’s hire was considered a coup for CAA, given his relationships in both the entertainment and media industries.

Before that, Mr. Fishman served as vice president for worldwide marketing and sales for Hard Rock Cafe International, and manager of entertainment marketing for Coca-Cola Co., where he developed movie tie-ins for Columbia Pictures’ Hook and Twentieth Century Fox’s Home Alone II.

Mr. Fishman’s resume also includes a stint as general partner and chief operating officer for epartners, a London-based venture capital firm led by News Corp., and executive vice president of marketing at Tele-TV Media, an interactive TV venture that was being developed by Bell Atlantic Corp, Nynex Corp and Pacific Telesis.
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