The chief executive of United Talent Agency pushed back against a seeming rebuke by the head of rival Endeavor, noting that that the two could not merge because their cultures would not make for a good match.
“We don’t fit the profile of the kind of companies he buys,” UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer said of a remark made in September by Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, who said “we don’t need it” after being asked if Endeavor should buy UTA to counter CAA’s recent decision to acquire rival ICM. “We have an amazing culture and we are incredibly profitable. We wouldn’t fit in.”
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Zimmer’s remarks appeared to be nods to Endeavor’s second-quarter net loss of $319 million, its second as a publicly traded corporation. Zimmer was taking part in a discussion at the annual Advertising Week conference in a panel with ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish that was moderated by CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.
During the conversation, Zimmer explained that the actors, directors, athletes and influencers the agency represents are eager to consider new venues that range from podcasts to commercial endorsements, and that has required building teams of agents with expertise in different areas to help serve clients. UTA these days might get involved in helping someone launch a podcast, he said, or align with an advertiser’s new campaign. UTA, he said, recently helped pair actor Will Ferrell with a General Motors Super Bowl commercial, and worked to help a different advertiser align itself with the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” even though Netflix does not run traditional commercials on its service.
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