Eshelman tapped to head new group

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide is reshuffling its entertainment efforts, using its BWR subsid to launch a new entertainment practice with offices on both coasts.

BWR managing director Henry Eshelman has been tapped the head of the new group, which joins Ogilvy’s five other existing practices devoted to the corporate, health and medical, marketing, public affairs and technology sectors.

Ogilvy PR chairman and CEO Bob Seltzer said that the company formed the entertainment practice to “mimic the entertainment industry’s expansion across many sectors such as news, sports, technology, luxury and lifestyle marketing, and to expand this capability throughout our global network.

“By bringing together BWR’s strengths with some of the specialized experience of Ogilvy PR team members in one practice, we’ll be much better able to serve both our entertainment clients and our traditional clients seeking alliances with the entertainment industry.”

Move comes days after advertising and marketing giant Interpublic said it will create a sports and entertainment marketing unit with senior execs at its inhouse flackery PMK/HBH.

Name’s the same

The new entertainment practice will retain the BWR moniker. It will be staffed with BWR’s 80 employees as well as employees from Ogilvy’s 59 worldwide offices.

Eshelman, based in Los Angeles, also heads Ogilvy’s corporate entertainment group, while Cindy Guagenti runs the talent unit and Paulette Kam will oversee the consumer and lifestyles products unit. Each of the trio has been with BWR for at least 15 years. Division also includes two event producers.

Ogilvy acquired BWR in 1999 as part of its first foray into the entertainment arena.

Combined, the new entertainment practice represents Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, Renee Zellweger and Reese Witherspoon, as well as TV show “Malcolm in the Middle.” Corporate clients include Qantas Airlines, vidgame maker Eidos Interactive (“Tomb Raider”), Perrier- and Arrowhead-parent Nestle Waters of America and BMW’s Designworks. The practice’s 2002 revenues are expected to exceed $10 million.

Eshelman leads BWR’s team at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals, and he has spearheaded entertainment campaigns for Absolut Vodka, Apple Computer and Playboy Enterprises, among others.

Before joining BWR, Eshelman was a creative director at large, designing campaigns for clubs Stock Exchange in Los Angeles and Tunnel in New York; he also worked in association with hotelier Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell as their inhouse designer and art director.

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