Lee Solters passed away at 89 in May, but his name lived on at the company he founded. Until now.

On Jan. 1, the agency known as Solters & Digney officially became Digney & Co. Public Relations.

Jerry Digney, who worked with Solters for 11 years, said the change was in accordance with Solters’ wishes. The longtime Hollywood veteran “press agent” had started earning his stripes by placing items in columns penned by Ed Sullivan, Walter Winchell and Hedda Hopper. As his career continued, Solters repped Jackie Gleason, Cary Grant, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton and Michael Jackson.

The business of publicizing the adventures of celebrities evolved greatly during his 60 years in PR.

“He often said the difference between being a press agent and a publicist was $10,000 a month,” Digney told the Business Journal.

In conjunction with the name change, the agency has hired two managers.

Arlene Winnick, who will head up the travel and tourism practice, joins the agency from a string of hotel positions including stints at Raffles L’Ermitage Beverly Hills and Le Meridien Beverly Hills. Marcia Newberger, who will focus on corporate entertainment accounts, was previously director of public relations at Merv Griffin Entertainment.

Brazilian Partner

CCG Investor Relations in Westwood has formed a joint venture with MZ Consult Servicos e Negocios, a large investor relations firm in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Under the agreement, CCG will promote MZ’s South American clients in the United States. The work will include analyst tours or “road shows,” investor perception studies, and media relations with the financial press. Meanwhile, MZ will offer CCG customers Brazilian-based technology services, such as corporate Web sites and translations for regulatory filings.

Together, the two companies have more than 300 clients in 20 countries.

“Both CCG and MZ share the conviction that in an era of globalized capital flows … the leading global corporations of tomorrow require a strategic partner to guide them to success,” Crocker Coulson, president of CCG said in a statement. “In 2009, U.S. equities experienced a negative flow of 31 percent, while emerging markets experienced positive inflows of 16 percent. We believe this underlying trend will be sustained for many years.”

World Wide Coffee

Digital marketing studio World Wide Arts has formed the Independent Coffee Network to channel video and online ads into coffee shops.

Studio City-based World Wide Arts installs video screens in independent coffee shops and provides Wi-Fi service to the store’s customers. The combination allows advertisers to display ads on both the screens and the Wi-Fi landing page.

“It gives the advertiser a big advantage to have two different media in the same place,” David Shikiar, president of World Wide Arts, told the Business Journal.

So far, 10 shops in California have installed the system, but Shikiar has the endorsement of the Special Coffee Association of America, a trade group with 2,500 members. He is in talks with midsize regional coffee chains, the main target for the service.

The in-store screens feature music videos, local weather reports and promotions for the coffee shop, in addition to local and national ads.

Agencies & Accounts

Wagner/Junker Agency in Mid-City has won the PR account for the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. WJA will promote the stores in the casino with traditional media relations, and through social networking on Facebook and Twitter. … Carl Terzian Associates in West Los Angeles has been retained by BNY Mellon Wealth Management in Century City to produce executive marketing events in Los Angeles and Orange counties. … Penelope Francis & Co. in downtown Los Angeles is the new PR firm for Poet Furniture by Carol Poet. The account was previously handled by CMC. … Ad agency FuseboxLA has created a television campaign for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to encourage vaccination for the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu. The TV ads are running on KCAL (Channel 9), KTTV (Channel 11), KNBC (Channel 4) and KCBS (Channel 2). … Zeesman Communications, a marketing design firm in Beverly Hills, created the light post banners for the city’s 2009 holiday decorations. The 550 banners drove foot traffic to the annual holiday lighting ceremony. Zeesman also handled a related print, e-mail, online and postcard blitz to shoppers and tourists. … Mustang Marketing in Thousand Oaks has signed its 750th client by landing Community Bank in Pasadena. The agency will help the bank reach its customers online. … New York-based Glam Media, an online ad network for women’s sites, has hired Rachel Wintner to open an office in Los Angeles. She comes to Glam from Conde Nast, where she was associate publisher of Style.com.

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

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