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Actor Idris Elba launches marketing agency

By Jamie Chisholm

Stringer Bell is becoming Don Draper.

Actor Idris Elba, who played the sharp-dressed and business-savvy gangster Russell "Stringer" Bell in iconic noughties TV show The Wire, is launching a marketing and content business based from his home town of London.

The venture, called Silly Face, is being set up with Marc Boyan, founder of independent media group Miroma Group, and "aims to unearth new storytellers and reinvigorate creativity and fun in brand marketing through ideation, creation and distribution of both long and short form content," according to a press release Thursday.

Silly Face is launching during a difficult period for advertising groups amid cut backs in spending, and as agencies sometimes struggle to prove sufficiently nimble when addressing younger customers through digital media.

While shares in French giant Publicis are near record highs, shares in S4 Capital , the London-listed digital-focused marketing group founded by former WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell in 2018, are down 50% over the past 12 months.

"Brands need to adopt new approaches to garner attention from consumers," said Silly Face, adding that it hoped to use Elba's profile to attract clients.

The actor, who also plays Luther in the popular eponymous BBC cop show, stressed the importance of utilizing workers with "different perspectives and backgrounds, to ensure they add the excitement back into brand building."

-Jamie Chisholm

This content was created by MarketWatch, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-15-23 1015ET

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