IPG Mediabrands is holding what it calls an “Equity Upfront” the week of March 15. Led by Mediabrands entity MAGNA, a global media investment and intelligence company, the weeklong event is intended to raise visibility and receptivity of Black-owned and targeted media businesses. It will highlight entities across all media (i.e., linear, video/streaming, digital, radio and print). Among the confirmed partners are Allen Media Group/Entertainment Studios, BET Network, Essence Communications and Urban One. Confirmed Mediabrands clients participating include American Express, BMW, CVS Health/Aetna and Johnson & Johnson. “The Equity Upfront is an opportunity to enact real change by increasing investment in often underrepresented media businesses that reflect the significant influence of Black consumers and trendsetters in the economy,” said Mediabrands global CEO Daryl Lee.


Acceleration Partners acquires the agency business of R.O.EYE, a Manchester-based performance marketing agency. The remainder of the R.O.EYE business was acquired by global affiliate network Awin. Since many of the R.O.EYE clients who will now be managed by Acceleration Partners also operate affiliate programs on Awin, the transaction further strengthens the relationship between the network and agency, who already work together in the UK and US. "It was vitally important to me that we found the right agency to acquire this part of the business. I know the team at Acceleration Partners well, and they will continue the great service we have delivered over the years," said R.O.EYE founder Mark Kuhillow. The R.O.EYE acquisition is Acceleration Partners’ second since partnering with Mountaingate Capital. In January, the agency announced the acquisition of Streamline Marketing.


5W Public Relations launches an online gambling public relations division. The agency says that the new division will allow a focused and strategic approach to online gambling, casinos, lotto and sports betting clients. PR services offered to online gambling and lottery clients include messaging and positioning, media relations, visibility programs, content creation, partnerships and celebrity relations, digital media campaigns, event planning, thought leadership and speaking opportunities. "With regulations varying nationally, advancements in technologies that enhance the gaming experience and the surge in people connecting virtually, online gambling has become a hot and rapidly evolving business," said 5WPR CEO and founder Ronn Torossian.