Craig Murray Grows With Deadline Buy

LOS ANGELES Movie marketing agency Craig Murray Productions has expanded its operations with the acquisition of online and print shop Deadline and renamed the enterprise CMP Entertainment Group.

“I’ve been actively seeking an online partner for the last year, and looked at a lot of small hot shops, with 10 to 12 people, that did great work,” said agency principal Craig Murray. “But when it came down to it, we wanted someone who wasn’t just an expert in Internet and online but had expertise in integrated marketing and strategy.”

With a staff of 30, Deadline, Los Angeles, is a larger shop than Murray originally considered, he said. Founded in 1997 by Amir Parstabar and Jay Tehrani, the shop is known for its recent work on Disney.com and Disneybooks.com, as well as online campaigns touting the DVD releases of Spider-Man 3, The Guardian, Reign Over Me, and Pirates of the Caribbean, among others.

“We knew the vibe was right,” Murray said. “This wasn’t just a hot shop of the moment, but were in it for the long term.”

With the acquisition, Murray’s divisions now include entities specializing in theatrical trailers and television campaigns, DVD campaigns and broadcast promos, print and packaging, original music composition and licensing. (The creative agency mOcean is also part of the CMP Entertainment Group.)

Murray, a former copywriter and producer at Omnicom’s BBDO in Atlanta, started Craig Murray Productions in 1986.

“When I first started in the business and talked to studio marketers about hashing out ideas for a campaign they looked at me like I was an alien,” Murray said. “They said, ‘We do the design and you write the copy and slip it under our door and when the newspaper comes out you’ll see what we did.’ And we’re not totally removed from that attitude yet. But the studios are headed toward a more traditional, agency style of thinking and are very involved in the creative process.”