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Artustry Debuts Unit

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New Division Will Handle E-Commerce Only
NEW YORK--Hybrid creative shop and production company Artustry Partnership is spinning off a unit called Artustry.net that will handle advertising for e-business startups and Internet companies, and will offer services in exchange for an equity stake.
The division starts off with four clients that the company, run by veteran adman and shop president David Sklaver and commercial director Bob Giraldi, won over the last three weeks: StarChefs.com, a site devoted to the lifestyles and recipes of great chefs; UrbanBaby.com, an information and e-commerce location for city parents with young children; Art-X.com, an online fine art gallery; and e-Mattress.com, an e-commerce bedding outlet.
Sklaver, the former president of defunct Wells Rich Greene, estimates that these new clients will be spending from $5 million to $15 million each. Artustry.net will create brand positioning, logos, print and broadcast advertising, and sponsorships, and provide public relations and help develop Web sites.
"Just like investment bankers, we will be determining whether we want to put money into these businesses," said Sklaver, "only we're determining whether we put our effort into them. We work out a formula; a blend of cash and equity. And in many cases, we are taking much of the upside in equity."
Artustry.net, like its parent, will rely on freelancers who will be paid in cash by the client, with Artustry.net dropping the markup. "We don't profit on that," said Sklaver, noting that "hard expenses," such as production costs, will be paid for by clients, while the company will absorb most of the overhead.
Sklaver and Giraldi launched Artustry Partnership earlier this year, spinning it off Giraldi's commercial production company, Giraldi Suarez, as a boutique advertising shop based on a production company model. Artustry hires independent talent for jobs in order to lower costs and be flexible; its billings are estimated at $40 million. Other clients: ICOM Communications, Texaco and Chase Manhattan Bank. K