OKRP, Robin Stevens, WGA-E, Ron Smith in the news

OKRP has acquired Chicago-based Juice Interactive

OKRP has acquired Chicago-based Juice Interactive

OKRP Juices up

Lots of OKRP-in-Cincinnati Chicago news these days (70’s babies will understand what I did there).

In addition to their great new Chili’s work, O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul has acquired Chicago-based, award-winning Juice Interactive, a digital marketing agency with a roster that includes MillerCoors and SAP Hybris.

The move follows the boutique agency’s search for a digital agency that would help expand its ability to bring clients enhanced integrated creative solutions.

“We’ve been looking for the right digital agency partner who can bring innovation and technology solutions to enhance our creative ideas in service of ever-changing client needs,” explained Nick Paul, President of OKRP.

JoAnn Leonard and Tim Rawls
JoAnn Leonard and Tim Rawls

Juice was formed by partners JoAnn Leonard and Tim Rawls in 2004. Today, they provide a wide range of services including digital and social strategy, integrated marketing campaign development, user experience design, commerce solutions, and branded content development.

“Being part of OKRP gives us the chance to have a voice and influence at the top of the marketing cycle at a time when it has never been more important for brands to have seamless and integrated marketing counsel,” Leonard explaining Juice’s decision. Rawls added, “By partnering with OKRP, we’re able to be part of the conversation early on, and bring insights from digital that help deliver brand messaging into high touch interactions.”

Juice will relocate its employees into OKRP’s recently built headquarters office in Chicago’s West Loop.

WGA-E has a few words for Weinstein

Monday, Writers Guild of America, East President Beau Willimon and Executive Director, Lowell Peterson, issued a statement to writers in response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Harvey Weinstein’s deplorable misconduct has become public knowledge because of brave women and intrepid reporters. Regrettably, sexual harassment and assault have long been hallmarks of the entertainment industry. The vast majority of incidents go unreported. Those who have the courage to speak out often do so at professional and emotional risk. All too often no action or insufficient action is the result.

We believe the Writers Guild of America, East has a role to play in moving our industry in the right direction. More immediately, our responsibility is to make sure our members can do their work free from harassment and assault. When this inappropriate behavior does take place, members should be fully supported by the union to make sure that proper action is taken.

The WGAE’s elected leaders and professional staff are undertaking a thorough review of the tools we currently possess and of additional steps the union can take to facilitate prevention, reporting, review, counseling and protection. As part of that work we will ask members for input on their experiences and how they think the union should tackle this issue.

There might be some uncomfortable features of this struggle against harassment and abuse. The culture of silence will be difficult to change. Sometimes our own members might be perpetrators. In the long run it will be imperative to address the industry’s lack of diversity – the profound imbalance of power in the business of creating and distributing stories. This is a project to which the WGAE is fully committed.

Robin Stevens add companies to roster

Effervescent rep Robin Stevens announced the addition of two new and exciting companies to her bulging roster. She has signed to represent, Pet Gorilla, a live action and emerging media company and Dress Code, a design and animation shop.

Robin Stevens
Robin Stevens

Director Luc Schugers launched Pet Gorilla with his business partner Dominic Bernacch in 2014. Their mission was simple – create content from concept to completion with a particular focus on cutting edge technology to unlock new capabilities in storytelling.

Owner/Directors Andre Andreev and Dan Covert founded Dress Code to make visually distinct work that wasn’t defined by a certain style or limited to any particular medium.

The company has been recognized by SXSW, The Webby Awards, Vimeo Staff Picks, Short of the Week, AFI Docs, Seattle International Film Festival, One Screen and ADC Young Guns among others.

Congrats to Robin!

Former Burrell writer pens “Black Panther” novel

Consider me jealous. Big congrats to former Burrell copywriter, Ron Smith, a great guy and even better writer apparently, as his new childrens’ book Black Panther: The Young Prince has been released by Marvel Press.

In the book, life is comfortable for twelve-year-old T’Challa in his home of Wakanda, an isolated, technologically advanced African nation. When he’s not learning how to rule a kingdom from his father-the reigning Black Panther-or testing out the latest tech, he’s off breaking rules with his best friend, M’Baku.

But as conflict brews near Wakanda, T’Challa’s father makes a startling announcement: he’s sending T’Challa and M’Baku to school in America.

Despite being given a high-tech suit and a Vibranium ring to use only in case of an emergency, T’Challa realizes he might not be as equipped to handle life in America as he thought.

When strange things begin happening around school, T’Challa sets out to uncover the source. But what he discovers in the process, is far more sinister than he could ever have imagined. In order to protect his friends and stop an ancient evil, T’Challa must take on the mantle of a hero, setting him on the path to becoming the Black Panther.

The book is available on Amazon.

Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com or follow him on Twitter @colincostello.com.