RALEIGH, NC—North Carolina-based public relations firm French/West/Vaughan is opening an office in the Los Angeles area in partnership with two prominent Hollywood PR professionals: Stella Stolper, former senior vice president of talent and creative development at VH1, and Brian Sher, CEO of Category 5 Entertainment and Frasier star Kelsey Grammer’s partner in Grammnet Productions.
The partnership will build a west coast presence for FWV focused on supporting film, television, music, sports and entertainment projects, and the LA office will be FWV’s fifth, including its headquarters location in Raleigh and offices in New York, Dallas and Tampa.
Stolper is an expert in marrying formats with talent and is widely credited with creating the “celebreality” brand that has become a staple of Viacom’s VH1 and MTV programming. She is the creator and executive producer of Paris Hilton’s My New BFF, DJ AM’s Gone Too Far and 50 Cent’s The Money and The Power.
Sher, a former ICM talent agent turned manager/producer who represents rapper-actor T.I., among others, recently joined forces with Stolper and Lionsgate Television to set-up Boss, a new dramatic series for the Starz network that also stars Grammer and recently began shooting in Chicago.
FWV will provide PR and marketing support to all of Stolper and Sher’s independently produced television and film projects and several of the clients represented by Sher’s company. The office will also work to create embedded content opportunities and storylines for current and future agency clients in an environment where product placement has become increasingly difficult and costly for brands to pull off without inside knowledge of how the process works.
“The world is fascinated by what celebrities wear, eat, read and otherwise consume,” says agency founder Rick French. “And that fascination is arguably the biggest driver of consumer buying behavior, so this opportunity to partner with a couple of very well-known and respected Hollywood insiders in creating programming opportunities for the clients we collectively represent is something we just couldn’t pass up.”