Los Angeles Business Journal

Gates’ Corbis Buys Product Placement Firm NMA Group

By Deborah Crowe Monday, January 9, 2012

NMA Group, a Los Angeles company that places products, mostly electronics, in movies and television shows, said Monday that it has been acquired by Corbis, a Seattle digital media licensing firm owned by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

NMA, founded in 1979 as Norm Marshall & Associates, has clients that include General Motors, Heineken and the Xbox unit of Microsoft. It also has offices in New York and London and will become a unit of Corbis’ entertainment division, which now will be led by Mark Owens, who had been NMA’s president. The division includes GreenLight, a licensing consultancy that represents deceased public figures like Albert Einstein, Steve McQueen and Johnny Cash.

"We have been connecting global brands with the industry's premier film and broadcast productions for over 30 years," said Chief Executive Norm Marshall, who is expected to continue in that position. "With the entertainment industry model rapidly shifting toward digital and interactive distribution, Corbis' global footprint and existing relationships in the entertainment and creative industries will allow us to expand our services, increase our global reach and accelerate growth."

Financial terms were not disclosed.