Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Exclusive: BermanBraun Strikes Big Ad Deal with Starcom

In an interesting move for premium online content, Hollywood’s BermanBraun has signed an advertising deal with Starcom MediaVest Group, the media agency unit of advertising giant Publicis Groupe, sources said.

As part of the deal, Starcom gets a “first look” at all of the online properties created by the innovative production company headed by Lloyd Braun (pictured here) and Gail Berman. BermanBraun produces both digital and mainstream content.

Both Berman and Braun are longtime Hollywood execs, and Braun also did a rocky stint running media at Yahoo (YHOO).

Sources said the goal for the parties is that the advertising spend exceed north of $100 million over four years on BermanBraun sites.

This is important, since Starcom’s clients, which include Wal-Mart (WMT) and Procter & Gamble (PG), are big spenders offline.

Thus, getting regular ad dollars to online properties is critical to the success of digital content, which has remained an experimental spend, compared with offline entertainment.

Those sites include its celebrity Wonderwall site, the women-focused Glo on Microsoft (MSFT) portal MSN, the upcoming political site on MSNBC and others being developed.

The deal is apparently nonexclusive to Starcom, sources said, so BermanBraun can sell to other advertisers.

The deal will be shepherded by Brian Terkelsen, who runs Starcom’s LiquidThread unit aimed at the Web and mobile devices.

To understand where it is all headed, here is a video of Braun onstage at the eighth D: All Things Digital conference in June, in an interview I did with him and Steve Levitan, co-creator of the television hit “Modern Family”:

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Social media tools are the latest in a long line of time-stealers in the workplace, following in the footsteps of March Madness brackets, afternoon golf games, morning water cooler gossip or cigarette breaks. But social media like Twitter and Facebook are more visible from a distance (of both time and space), so they are easier to criticize and quantify.

— Dwane Lay, human resources director at Missouri Baptist Medical Center