Russell Simmons, best known for his hip-hop label Def Jam and fashion brand Phat Pharm, is founding a new digital marketing company called Narrative, Ad Age reports. The company, which Simmons is co-founding with his business partner Tricia Clarke-Stone, is launching in NYC and LA.
Narrative already has a number of high-profile clients on board, including Sprint's Boost Mobile and GlobalGrind.com, a website Simmons founded and Ms. Clarke-Stone runs. GlobalGrind clients Universal Pictures, Toyota, Pantene, Pepsi, and Tide could all come under Narrative's purview as GlobalGrind shifts its digital operations to Narrative.
(UPDATE: The official press release, which came out this afternoon, confirms that all of GlobalGrind's clients will be managed by Narrative)
Simmons says he's drawn to advertising because he sees "a great hole in the market." According to Simmons, the new American mainstream is urban culture — and this does not just mean African-American culture. Narrative will likely adopt this mantra in its approach.
This is not Simmons's foray into advertising; in 1999, he formed an urban-oriented agency — dRush — with ad mogul Donny Deutsch. dRush was dissolved after three years due to "increased business demands."
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