Adweek reported Grey New York created a new department that is essentially a talent agency. Grey TLC—Talent, Licensing and Casting services—will cover all the duties in its acronym. The agency has apparently run casting in-house for some time, and is now combining “that service with the talents of Grey employees who specialize in outreach, management, licensing, contract negotiation and content creation/distribution.” Imagine if Grey and other White advertising agencies showed a similar passion for creating inclusive work environments, charging Grey executives to specialize in outreach, management and contract negotiation for minority candidates. No such luck. In the advertising industry, celebrity talent trumps diversity—and minorities don’t receive TLC from anyone.
Grey New York Makes a Splash in the Talent Pool with New TLC Unit
Department will handle casting and talent management
By Patrick Coffee
Grey New York is expanding its services by launching a new department focused on a unique sort of skill set: talent management.
The agency started Grey TLC—or Talent, Licensing and Casting services—earlier this month in order to better address “rapid changes” in clients’ needs. Those needs include casting actors, non-actors, athletes, rock stars, experts and all sorts of social media influencers for a given campaign in addition to handling the legal and professional challenges that are sure to follow.
This is not a completely new development for Grey, which has long maintained an in-house casting department. The new offering aims to combine that service with the talents of Grey employees who specialize in outreach, management, licensing, contract negotiation and content creation/distribution.
TLC will be housed within Grey’s public relations practice, Activation, and run by its president, Amy Tunick, along with Ketchum/William Morris Agency veteran Michelle Overall, who will be svp of the newly formed Grey TLC.
In recent months, Grey has aimed to expand its team’s offering services beyond traditional advertising: The agency acquired New York-based Workman Group Communications over the summer before hiring two new creative leaders on the PR/activation side.
“Talent no longer provides brands with just a famous name or face; talent and property partnerships are a strategic and contextual channel to communicate a brand’s message,” said Tunick. She positioned the new offering as a natural extension of Grey’s existing services, adding, “We’ve been delivering strategy, creative ideas, program development and customized outreach in this arena for Grey’s clients for many years, and we created Grey TLC to continue to stay ahead of the curve and offer clients a more turn-key, comprehensive and integrated approach.”
While Grey TLC is technically a new department, the agency credits its members with negotiating such past partnerships as Ron Howard’s Canon U.S.A. contest and the perfect breakfast duo of eggs and (Kevin) Bacon.
The purpose of TLC is to make Grey’s work even more “famously effective” while minimizing clients’ desire to seek out other agencies for PR and talent services.