NEW YORK — Since he helped to create the advertising and marketing campaign for Paramount’s “Rosemary’s Baby” in 1968, Steve Frankfurt has espoused the philosophy that “the line between Madison Avenue and Hollywood is becoming almost nonexistent.”
Frankfurt, 65, has created innovative campaigns for dozens of movies over the past three decades, a career that will continue in his new roles, which he announced Tuesday, of vice chairman of Brett Shevack’s ad agency Partners & Shevack and chairman of a new Shevack division called Partners & Frankfurt.
“I’ll be focusing on the entertainment area, as well as new media and graphic design,” Frankfurt said. Among the movies he’ll get involved in marketing are Disney’s “The Horse Whisperer” and Universal’s “Primary Colors.”
Frankfurt has resigned from Frankfurt Balkind Partners, where he spent the past eight years as chairman. Frankfurt said he was getting restless, and Shevack is a much bigger company. Whereas Balkind chalks up billings in the $120-million-a-year range, Shevack harvests $280 million in annual billings. Shevack’s client list includes American Home Products, Arm & Hammer, Dutch Boy Paints, Haagen-Dazs, Lexis-Nexis, Pfizer and the Scotts Co.
Frankfurt was president of Y&R when he fell in love with movie advertising after working on “Rosemary’s Baby.” He resigned from Y&R in 1970 to become president of his own agency Frankfurt Communications, which worked on movie campaigns and on corporate advertising strategy for Bristol-Myers, Mattel, Columbia Pictures and McDonald’s.
In 1974, Frankfurt sold his company to Bozell, Kenyon & Eckhardt, which took him on as vice chairman. Frankfurt stayed with Bozell until 1989, when he left to help create Frankfurt Balkind Partners.