Hip-Hop Connection

GlobalHue expects to leverage the contacts and reach of Russell Simmons to entrench itself deeper into a young urban market.

GlobalHue CEO Don Coleman called Simmons, who becomes the agency’s vice chairman as part of a new alliance with the Southfield, Mich., shop, “the godfather of hip-hop.”

“He’s our connection to that community because he has ultimate credibility,” Coleman said. “Some clients, like Courvoisier and others, want to be involved in that community. So he’s going to do a lot for us in that regard. And his persona opens new-business doors.”

Simmons’ previous ad agency venture with Deutsch in New York, dRush, folded after it was decided “resources would be better used to support initiatives that represent higher growth potential,” according to a Deutsch statement.

Coleman said GlobalHue will back Simmons with all of its resources and have people to follow up leads the vice chairman generates.

With Simmons’ help, GlobalHue acquired Allied Domecq’s Courvoisier account without a review. At dRush, Simmons worked on the cognac last year when the brand’s sales were up 20 percent.

Several former dRush employees will work on Courvoisier at GlobalHue’s New York office and are in the process of being hired, Coleman said. Simmons will “be an adviser and he’ll give us strategic input,” Coleman said. “We respect his knowledge of the target.”

Allied Domecq is reaching out to a younger, hipper marketplace, Coleman said. “They understand that those trends that start in the hip-hop community cross over to the larger pop culture,” he said.

Simmons could not be reached for comment.