Grey New York Makes a Splash in the Talent Pool with New TLC Unit

Department will handle casting and talent management

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Grey New York is expanding its services by launching a new department focused on a unique sort of skill set: talent management.

The agency started Grey TLC—or Talent, Licensing and Casting services—earlier this month in order to better address "rapid changes" in clients' needs. Those needs include casting actors, non-actors, athletes, rock stars, experts and all sorts of social media influencers for a given campaign in addition to handling the legal and professional challenges that are sure to follow.

This is not a completely new development for Grey, which has long maintained an in-house casting department. The new offering aims to combine that service with the talents of Grey employees who specialize in outreach, management, licensing, contract negotiation and content creation/distribution.

TLC will be housed within Grey's public relations practice, Activation, and run by its president, Amy Tunick, along with Ketchum/William Morris Agency veteran Michelle Overall, who will be svp of the newly formed Grey TLC.

In recent months, Grey has aimed to expand its team's offering services beyond traditional advertising: The agency acquired New York-based Workman Group Communications over the summer before hiring two new creative leaders on the PR/activation side.

"Talent no longer provides brands with just a famous name or face; talent and property partnerships are a strategic and contextual channel to communicate a brand's message," said Tunick. She positioned the new offering as a natural extension of Grey's existing services, adding, "We've been delivering strategy, creative ideas, program development and customized outreach in this arena for Grey's clients for many years, and we created Grey TLC to continue to stay ahead of the curve and offer clients a more turn-key, comprehensive and integrated approach."

While Grey TLC is technically a new department, the agency credits its members with negotiating such past partnerships as Ron Howard's Canon U.S.A. contest and the perfect breakfast duo of eggs and (Kevin) Bacon.

The purpose of TLC is to make Grey's work even more "famously effective" while minimizing clients' desire to seek out other agencies for PR and talent services.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.