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Jimmy Smith to Launch New Agency in Partnership with Interpublic
Shop to Be Named 'Amusement Park Entertainment' and Focus on Integrated Trans-media Ideas, Content and Communications

NEW YORK, Oct 04, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Leading creative director Jimmy Smith and the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) announced today that they intend to enter into a joint venture to launch a new marketing agency called Amusement Park Entertainment. Based in Los Angeles, Amusement Park Entertainment will focus on "trans-media" storytelling and creative content development, leading to marketing activity that integrates messages across multiple media, with a focus on channels like mobile applications, film and gaming.

Jimmy Smith will be Chairman, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Amusement Park Entertainment. Most recently, he had been Group Creative Director on the Gatorade account at TBWA/CHIAT/DAY in Los Angeles. Prior to that role, Jimmy held senior positions at leading creative agencies BBDO and Wieden + Kennedy. He has also been active as an author in television and documentary film production, as well as in the video game arena. The management team at Amusement Park is rounded out by Quincy "QD3" Jones III, Director of Digital, Film and Music; Roberto Grande, Director of Mobile; and Bobby Ware, Director of Finance. Ownership terms of the joint venture are not being disclosed.

Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO of Interpublic Group said, "There have never been so many platforms at our disposal with which to engage consumers. Devices are proliferating and more interconnected every day, so there's a premium on great creative ideas that can engage and motivate consumers across channels in a coordinated and complimentary way, and that's exactly what Jimmy and his team at Amusement Park will deliver." Added Roth, "Jimmy is a dynamic and talented force in the ad industry across traditional and new media, as well as a leading voice for increasing diversity in our creative communities. We couldn't be happier to partner with the team at Amusement Park and expect them to bring a new voice to clients who understand the power and value of great storytelling across media."

Added Jimmy Smith, Chairman and CEO of Amusement Park, "I'll forever be grateful to Michael and IPG. They saw the vision and have enabled me to reach my lifelong dream of opening a creative development studio from scratch. Ever since Jim Riswold created Hare Jordan, I've always thought that the ideas we create, when we get it right, can lead to so much more than just an ad campaign. Michael Jordan's Jumpman brand was cultivated and developed by his basketball exploits and by an adman's vision. This lead not only to record-breaking shoe sales for Nike, BUT also a box office smash in Space Jam, a motorsports team, comic books and other merchandising unrelated to traditional advertising. Creative ideas can live in another form of media or inspire a new business line that's even more profitable than the original brand. Games, books, TV shows, movies and mobile entertainment - all of them have come out of ads, unintentionally. It happened with Riswold's Hare Jordan and it happened with my Gatorade Replay. Why can't we bring intention to this? If you make it part of the game plan from day one, you make clients' marketing and advertising dollars work much harder for their brands. It changes how you think about ideas, but also how you get compensated for creativity. We're betting this new model will make the most talented people in the world want to come under our roof."

About Interpublic

Interpublic is one of the world's leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies. Major global brands include Draftfcb, FutureBrand, GolinHarris International, HUGE, Initiative, Jack Morton Worldwide, Lowe and Partners, MAGNAGLOBAL, McCann Erickson, Momentum, MRM Worldwide, Octagon, R/GA, UM and Weber Shandwick. Leading domestic brands include Campbell Ewald; Campbell Mithun; Carmichael Lynch; Deutsch, a Lowe and Partners Company; Gotham Inc.; Hill Holliday; ID Media; Mullen and The Martin Agency. For more information, please visit www.interpublic.com.

SOURCE: Interpublic

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