Jay-Z And Steve Stoute Start New Advertising Venture

Jay-Z is joining forces with Steve Stoute, to open a new advertising venture, Translation Advertising, an agency that will help marketers reach multicultural consumers.

The NYTimes say the new agency will be part of Translation Consultation and Brand Imaging, the company Stoute founded and sold last October for an estimated $10 to $15 million to the Interpublic Group of Companies, the third-largest agency company (behind the Omnicom Group and the WPP Group).

"We saw a place in the market for a new agency. The current fashion and standing that African Americans hold in the world today – especially in American culture – isn’t fully represented in the advertising community," commented Stoute. "We want to show this community in advertising that’s fresh, accurate and perfectly executed. And we’re excited to be doing it with a great partner like Interpublic, which has such deep relationships with the world’s greatest marketers. Our plans for this new agency have been repeatedly speculated at in recent press reports. As a result, we’re announcing Translation Advertising a little earlier than anticipated."

Stoute and Jay-Z will be the co-chairmen of the new company and own 51%  of Translation Advertising. Interpublic will own 49 percent.

"As an artist, you make music," Jay-Z told the NYTimes. "And if you see people who don’t know how to market your music, you get involved in it."

This venture, is indicative of the intensifying interest on Madison Avenue in minority consumers. The African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American populations in the United States, together account for an estimated $2 trillion in consumer buying power.

Jay-Z's role at Translation Advertising would be to offer his creative and entrepreneurial ideas.

"Translation Advertising is a new and exciting venture," said Jay-Z. "Interpublic shares a vision of representing and connecting with the African-American culture and community in an honest and responsible way. This partnership with Interpublic and Translation Advertising is a natural business pairing. I look forward to sharing ideas and breaking new ground once again in a new area. We are not looking to just have an agency, we are looking to perfect our relationship with the consumer."

As a stand-alone agency, Translation Advertising will be accessible to and partner with Interpublic’s leading network of full-service agencies. The new company will focus on creating advertising programs for clients, including television, print and radio, which are aimed at African American and culturally-blended consumers. As the agency grows, it will seek to partner with sister IPG companies to deliver specialty marketing services, such as special events and activation.


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