Agency, Amp'd Mobile team for new media co.
The William Morris Agency and Amp’d Mobile founder Peter Adderton have teamed to launch a new-media venture that marries brands and content with emerging distribution platforms.Called Agency 3.0, it’s the latest digital foray by the tenpercentery, which unveiled a venture capital fund for fledgling digital media outfits in March. This venture, however, is less a tech incubator than a next-gen marketing agency that will also develop and produce content. Based in Beverly Hills alongside the main William Morris offices, the Agency 3.0 team will work in conjunction with the percentery’s existing digital media operation. Adderton will serve as chairman and CEO and share ownership with William Morris and the senior exec team there. He’s lured former Hollywood execs who had headed up online entertainment ventures during the first dotcom boom to join Agency 3.0. They include Steve Stanford, who created ICM’s Digital Media Group and co-founded Icebox.com. He now serves as prexy of content and entertainment at Agency 3.0. Greg Johnson, who created Interpublic’s Emerging Media Lab, will serve as prexy of brands and agencies; Scott Anderson, who was creative head and co-founder of Boost and Amp’d with Adderton, has been named chief creative officer. Agency 3.0 is Adderton’s latest digital venture after Amp’d went bankrupt last June. He had positioned Amp’d as a mobile phone venture whose target was younger consumers interested in watching content on their cell phones. The goal of the new company, Adderton said, is to identify emerging technologies three to five years ahead of time, then place brands onto them as they start to break through. “We want to get brands onto Facebook before it becomes the No. 1 site,” Adderton said. “When they really start to explode, we’ll be ready with tried and tested techniques.” The topper said the need for such guidance became clear to him while running Amp’d and Boost, where all such analysis had to be done inhouse. “I felt a real need in the market,” he said. “It was a space that we thought was deficient,” said William Morris chairman-CEO Jim Wiatt, who said the new venture is an outgrowth of months of conversation between him and Adderton, a longtime client. Wiatt declined to specify the tenpercentery’s investment in the joint venture, saying merely that William Morris has committed enough money to insure it can operate profitably.