Grey, P. Diddy Team for ‘Music Upfront’

NEW YORK Grey Global Group’s Alliance has formed a strategic partnership with Blue Flame Marketing + Advertising, a division of Bad Boy Entertainment, the agencies said. One of their first joint projects is a gathering described as a “music upfront” to take place in New York in May, during the traditional TV upfront.

In a statement, Blue Flame chief executive and music impresario Sean “P. Diddy” Combs said, “With the ever-growing challenges facing the music industry, it is important for labels to cultivate and maintain a healthy relationship and proximity to corporate America. It is going to be the labels, with the ability to create mutually beneficial relationships and capture the lifestyle of their target in its entirety who will survive to compete in this new music economy.”

The music upfront is intended to bring together advertisers, ad agencies, record labels and film companies to preview what the music industry plans to release over the next year and provide a forum in which marketing deals can be made among those in attendance.

For Alliance, whose largest client is Procter & Gamble, Blue Flame brings an “urban sensibility,” said Jarrod Moses, CEO of the New York-based Grey company. “We look forward to collaborating with [Blue Flame] not only to develop brand-building programs for corporate clients, but also to create original programs and campaigns that will electrify the marketplace,” Moses said in a statement.

New York-based Blue Flame is also led by Jameel Spencer, president of the agency and CMO of the the privately held Bad Boy Worldwide. Clients include Bacardi USA, Bentley/Rolls Royce, Hewlett-Packard and Sony Pictures.

Last spring, Blue Flame formed a relationship with the Tag unit of Interpublic Group’s McCann-Erickson, and Spencer said the companies continue to work together on various projects.

A McCann rep said, “McCann’s Tag group still has a relationship with Blue Flame, but it has never been an exclusive one.”