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Tuesday, Jul 5, 2022

West L.A. Event Producer Looks North for Expansion

Event producer Canon Communications LLC has acquired three Canadian trade shows in the plastics and packaging industries.

The West L.A.-based Canon bought the Plast-Ex and ExpoPlast shows, the two top Canadian trade shows for the plastics industry, from the Canadian Plastics Industry Association. In a separate transaction, Canon acquired Packex, Canada’s leading packaging trade show, from Paris’ Comexposium and the Packaging Association of Canada. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

Starting in 2011, Canon will stage the Plast-Ex and Packex together, a strategy that the company said has worked for many of its shows. Each of the shows attracts 500 exhibitors marketing their industrial equipment and services.

The newly acquired events “provide the perfect launch platform for our co-location strategy in the Canadian market,” Charles McCurdy, Canon chief executive, said in a statement.

Vodka Revamped

Product placement agency UPP Entertainment Marketing in Burbank has one of the hottest assignments of the year with new client Firestarter Vodka.

The drink, imported from Moldova, comes in a bottle that looks like a fire extinguisher, complete with lock pin, trigger and pour nozzle. UPP has the job of making Firestarter conspicuous in films and TV shows, and at Hollywood parties.

Agency President Gary Mezzatesta believes the visual curiosity of the packaging will draw attention on screen and at live events.

“Needless to say, we are eager to see how the entertainment community reacts to this distinctive product,” he said in a statement.

The product itself is distilled from wheat and flavored with honey, so the fiery name has no reference to the taste. But Chris Van Howten, director of advertising at Firestarter, hopes the marketing campaign will catch on like wildfire.

“We look forward to seeing awareness for our brand explode in and around Hollywood,” Van Howten said in a statement.

America’s Next Top Agency?

Wongdoody, you’re going out there a nobody, but you’re coming back a star.

The Culver City marketing agency made the jump from behind the camera to momentary fame on the Oct. 14 episode of “America’s Next Top Model.”

In the show, produced by the show’s host, Tyra Banks, Wongdoody staffers appeared on screen to guide contestants through makeup, dressing and styling challenges that a new model typically experiences on a commercial shoot. The agency also provided feedback to the show’s producers to help determine which contestants would move ahead in the modeling contest.

“Most people only see the glamorous side of the business, but we had the chance to show some of what it is really like and give a glimpse of how many people it really takes to make a face famous,” said Tracy Wong, agency chairman.

In the Swim

When reality TV director Archie Gips put a video on YouTube showing a clumsy best man knocking a bride and preacher into a swimming pool, he didn’t expect it to reach 50 million Internet viewers.

While the clip appears to be a home movie, it was really a trailer for his low-budget movie “Keith and Chloe’s Wedding.”

Over the past year, the 44-second clip spread virally from YouTube to Yahoo, AOL and Facebook. It was featured on “Ellen DeGeneres”; “Today”; “Good Morning America”; and Australian, British and Japanese TV as a home movie, not a coming attraction.

A few weeks ago, actors pretending to be Chloe and Keith appeared on “Good Day L.A.”

Gips acknowledged he had received complaints from people who objected to being fooled, but he was surprised by their reaction.

“It astonishes me that people feel tricked,” he said. “Lots of stuff on YouTube isn’t real. I work in reality TV, and everybody knows that’s not real.”

Agencies & Accounts

Cartoon canine Scooby-Doo has teamed up with “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan to sponsor the National Spokesdog Competition. Pet owners upload a photo of their dog to a Web site of the Burbank-based Millan Foundation. The winning dog will appear with Millan in public service announcements for spaying and neutering pets. Scooby’s owner is Burbank-based Warner Bros. … Levine Communications Office in Beverly Hills has landed rock band Kiss as a client. The agency will work on promoting “Sonic Boom,” the legendary band’s soon-to-be-released first album in 11 years. … Neilan Tyree was named the first chief marketing officer at David & Goliath, the independent ad agency in El Segundo. She will manage agency outreach, including the all-important pitches for new accounts. Prior to joining D&G, Tyree was a an independent consultant following a long stint at JWT. … TBWAChiatDay in Playa del Rey has appointed Will Hammond as creative director of the Visa account. Hammond comes to TBWA from Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, where he worked on the Adobe and Hyundai accounts.

Staff reporter Joel Russell can be reached at jrussell@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 237.

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