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“There will be no product placement”: rapper Booba launches his own talent agency

“I wanted to allow talents from all backgrounds, particularly artists and urban athletes, to express themselves, to promote their know-how and to show that a more virtuous model can exist,” Booba explains to Le Figaro.

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“There will be no product placement”: rapper Booba launches his own talent agency

“I wanted to allow talents from all backgrounds, particularly artists and urban athletes, to express themselves, to promote their know-how and to show that a more virtuous model can exist,” Booba explains to Le Figaro. The French rapper reveals the outlines of Starting Blok, the talent agency he has just founded just a few months after his vast campaign against the abuses of the influencer system. The project was imagined in May alongside the two co-founders of the agency and professionals in the field, Anne Cibron, artist manager, and Claire Dabrowski, specialist in brand content (content in which brands are integrated into narration).

“In this agency, we will not be interested in profiles whose main activity is the creation of content on the Internet,” explains Claire Dabrowski, who in the past accompanied the comedian Jamel Debbouze or the content creators Squeezie and Cyprien when she was Director of Talent Web Development at Webedia. The agency wants to highlight “people who have a daily job, such as tattoo artists, graffiti artists, actors, athletes, people who have something to say and who use their social networks to highlight this that they sell and to share their passion,” she adds.

Also read “Dubai, it’s over!”: the great disillusionment of French influencers

Starting Blok's capital is shared between its three co-founders. The latter, who employ four people today, hope to reach financial balance within six months to a year.

The agency is positioning itself in particular in the urban culture niche, which is still little exploited by brands to attract younger generations. “We support talents who wish to have a responsible and ethical influence, who inspire and mobilize their communities,” says Booba.

The actor Vincent Scalera, who is taking his first steps in stand-up, Dany Dann, an international breakdancing champion who will compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, where the discipline will make its big debut, Berthet One, comic strip author, or again the tattoo artist Poly, are among the first talents signed to an exclusive contract by Starting Blok. As a remuneration model, the agency will receive a commission on the activities of the profiles it supports in creating visibility.

Like many content creator agencies today, Starting Blok requires its new recruits to pass the Responsible Influence certificate set up by the Professional Advertising Regulation Authority (ARPP). “There will be no product placements,” Claire Dabrowski would like to point out. “The idea is to support these enthusiasts, who sometimes have difficulty financing themselves, in their creative associations with brands to tell a story,” she adds. And why not think about creating content like television shows or series.”

It's an understatement to say that rapper Booba has shaken up the world of influence. His quarrels with one of his leading figures, Magali Berdah, the founder of the Shauna Events agency, continue today to agitate social networks while justice intends to do its work on the follow-up to be given to the invectives of the first, going on the hunt against “influvoleurs”, and those of the second, who denounces violent cyberharassment and accuses the rapper of having tarnished his image. In the meantime, the Ministry of the Economy has signaled an end to abuses in the influence sector, and the first law governing the sector was passed last June. As a result, product placement rates have collapsed for reality TV starlets.

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