ITB Worldwide is starting to expand after being acquired by Rogers & Cowan.
The London-based celebrity and influencer talent agency was purchased about a year ago by Rogers & Cowan, the entertainment public relations firm based in Los Angeles, and is now making something of an acquisition of its own. ITB is folding into its operations the celebrity strategy segment of Octagon Sports and Entertainment, known as First Call.
ITB said the integration of First Call gives it a team of more than 40 in London, L.A., New York City and Washington, D.C., and puts all “influencer and talent partnership services across the fashion, sports and entertainment industries under one roof.” The move comes only a few months after ITB formally absorbed Roger & Cowan’s Film Fashion p.r. division, bringing to the agency work in gifting and product “seeding” for fashion, beauty and consumer brands, as well as red carpet placement.
Emma Gregson, ITB’s managing director, said since being acquired by Rogers & Cowan, the firm has been “envisioning ways to expand our reach to connect people of influence and create dynamic partnerships with all levels of talent from celebrity through localized digital-first talent.”
“With the addition of the First Call team, we now have the ability to move ITB forward with like-minded partners and tap into the cultural nuances of localized markets with a global team,” Gregson added.
David Schwab, founder of First Call, said the firm is “now positioned globally to best create opportunities and solve problems.” Schwab is set to remain involved with the agency, as “strategic counsel” to ITB while continuing to lead “special strategic projects” for Octagon. Meanwhile, Gregson will be in charge of ITB’s global teams and Michael Jacobson, ITB’s senior vice president, will lead the agency in the U.S.
ITB is also launching a series of panels this year in London, New York and Los Angeles as part of an effort to “showcase the latest development in the influencer and talent landscape.” The first is slated for next week with a focus on branded content. Featured speakers are Sophie Edelstein, a director who’s worked on commercials for Gucci and other brands; Wendy Rowe, a make-up artist and creative director of Max Factor, and Rebecca Mason, creative director of Condé Nast International’s branded content studio.