Updated AgencySpy Exclusive: Russell Simmons and WPP/Y&R May be Forming New Agency

By Matt Van Hoven 

We’ve been holding onto this story since May, when we first heard about it. Since then, we’ve been working to confirm Russell Simmons’ possible contract with WPP’s Y&R to create a new agency. So far, no such luck. But here’s what we’ve heard.

From our spy: “…contract is in negotiation with WPP, reporting up through Y&R…Looks like the concept for the start-up agency is different from what I originally heard. It’s meant to be a multi-cultural shop handling databases, analytics and execution for campaigns &#151 translating them, so to speak, to target specific Asian, Hispanic/Latin and African American demographics…The contract for the agency is being handled by Y&R.”

WPP has been uber tight-lipped about the new shop, but we hope it happens, and soon. There are few better entrepreneurs to start a shop focused on culturally diverse consumers. We’ll keep you posted as more comes in.

Could this be an attempt to challenge Jay-Z’s recent move to Madison Ave?

Hova! Hova! Jay-Z Heads To Madison Avenue

Update: “Apparently, part of Russell Simmons Communications already has an advertising agency.” We wonder: is WPP buying it?