Exclusive: Capitol Forms In-House Ad Agency seventeenfifty, Preps New York Upfront

Katy Perry and Sam Smith
Michael Bezjian/Getty Images for Soho House

Katy Perry and Sam Smith attend Soho Desert House with Bacardi and Spotify Day 3 on April 13, 2014 in La Quinta, California.

When Capitol Music Group chief Steve Barnett relocated 31 of EMI’s former East Coast staff to the Capitol’s iconic Hollywood headquarters on Vine Street, he set out to create a new corporate culture in which “confidence is contagious.” That strategy has already produced blockbuster albums from Katy Perry, Sam Smith and 5 Seconds of Summer, and now it’s extending to the advertising marketplace.

In June, the company hosted its first label-wide upfront for brands in L.A. to help drum up synch business for artists like Mary Lambert, who performed a private showcase. And on September 10, CMG will introduce the formation of seventeenfifty (named after the Capitol Tower’s 1750 N. Vine St. address), its in-house branding and creative agency at a brand partnerships-centric upfront presentation at New York’s City Winery.

All 10 Capitol Music labels will be represented, with showcase performances from Blue Note’s Kandace Springs, Capitol Christian Music’s NF, Capitol’s Broods and Motown’s Ne Yo. The agency is being headed by Kate Denton, a veteran of PepsiCo’s Tropicana, who recently hired Back Roads Entertainment’s Ryan Allingham as a director of brand partnerships and promoted New York-based Allisan Blood to vp of sync and brand partnerships.

“The upfront provides an opportunity to showcase the breadth of talent we have within the 10 labels and to get our artists in front of brands and agencies very early in the process,” Denton says.

A version of this article first appeared in the Sept. 13th issue of Billboard.