Fiction Expands Operations to Munich, Germany

boston—Fiction, an advertising boutique and film production hy-brid, has established an outpost in Munich, Germany.

Johannes Noerr heads up the new location, which will share client responsibilities with the Boston office, as well as participate in new-business pitches for European prospects. Noerr is working with about a half-dozen freelancers on projects for several undisclosed clients, including a Swedish company.

“[Our goal] is to take our message to America’s agencies that we can accommodate short films or commercial productions in Europe, as well as build a new customer base [there],” said Mark Rowntree, president and founder of Fiction.

“Because of our special positioning in the market we have an advantage over the competition,” said Noerr, who hopes to add several new clients this year and expand his staff.

Prior to joining Fiction, Noerr held a marketing position at EM Entertainment in Germany for four years. Before EM Entertainment, Noerr was a staffer at Service Plan, a German advertising agency.

“[Noerr] has a marketing background and a lot of good contacts,” said Thomas Heinelt, a creative/film director at the eight-person shop. Heinelt originally hails from Germany and is an old friend of Noerr’s.

In addition to having access to new clients, maintaining a European location will allow Fiction to develop films at a lower cost and remain competitive with other production companies, according to Heinelt.

The shop originally launched in the mid-1980s as Rowntree & Co. and specialized in graphic design and animation projects. Two years ago, however, the company changed its name to Fiction and began promoting itself as a commercial and creative film production house [Ad-week, May 29, 2000].

“We’re not a big agency, but that’s partof our charm,” said Rowntree.

Fiction’s client roster includes EMC, Genzyme, Philips and Thermo Electron.

The shop is currently working on a corporate mission film for Thermo Electron, in which the client’s employees from around the world are interviewed about the company.

Fiction’s local competitors in-clude Picture Park and Element Productions, both of Boston.