February 8, 2008

Steve Stoute and Jay-Z Join Forces

Jay-Z — real name, Shawn Carter — is joining forces with another African-American entrepreneur, Steve Stoute, to open Translation Advertising in New York, an agency that will help marketers reach multicultural consumers.

The new agency will be part of Translation Consultation and Brand Imaging, which has worked for mainstream advertisers like General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, McDonald’s and Reebok.

Translation Advertising expects to announce its first clients soon, said Mr. Stoute, who sold Translation Consultation last October for an estimated $10 million to $15 million to the Interpublic Group of Companies in New York.

Interpublic, the third-largest agency company (behind the Omnicom Group and the WPP Group) also owns agencies like Campbell-Ewald, Deutsch, Draft FCB, GolinHarris, R/GA and Universal McCann. Interpublic and Translation Consultation share clients like the Chevrolet division of G.M.

Interpublic will own 49 percent of Translation Advertising. The majority stake will be owned by Mr. Stoute, 37, and Jay-Z, 38, who will be the co-chairmen.

“As an artist, you make music,” Mr. Carter said. “And if you see people who don’t know how to market your music, you get involved in it.” Jay-Z

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