Movie Marketer Launches New Venture

LOS ANGELES Brian Fox, founder, president and CEO of movie-marketing agency B.D. Fox & Friends, has sold his Malibu, Calif., agency to senior management and plans to open a new shop geared toward promoting independent releases, Fox said.

The new agency will be called B. D. Fox Independent. The management team at the former Fox shop has renamed it Ocean Park Creative.

Fox, 57, founded his agency in 1977 and soon was handling some of Hollywood’s most popular projects, including E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Batman, Steel Magnolias, Halloween, The Matrix and Harry Potter. He was also part of the original launch teams for television programs such as The Simpsons and Beverly Hills 90210.

The agency cut trailers, designed broadcast campaigns and one-sheets and handled event marketing and some media buying. The shop employed as many as 100 people at one point, Fox said.

“The business has changed. It has become more corporate and consolidated,” Fox said, who believes the introduction of technologies such as HD-DVD and Blu-ray are transforming landscape again.

“I’ve always been a creative type, though I never worked at a traditional agency,” he said. “I enjoy the creative process and putting campaigns together, but there is a lot of repetition in it. Financially, it was the right time to sell it to people with whom I’ve worked for the last 18 years.”

Fox said that modern technology would allow him to put together international teams for projects and work in a virtual communications environment, using his category experience to “activate relationships and bring it together efficiently.” He said the agency had already been retained to “Americanize the advertising of Russian films” by yet unnamed partners.

“Movie marketing has always been my love,” Fox said. “That’s why I’m interested in marketing independent films. They get my creative juices flowing. In some ways, you have to be smarter about it.”