EXCLUSIVE: Ant Farm, among the highest-profile entertainment marketing companies in Hollywood, is shuttering. Deadline hears that the move was announced internally this morning in a meeting called by top brass of Ant Farm’s parent company Omnicom, which told employees that operations would cease in 60 days. We hear that employees will get a severance package.
Sources say Omnicom is cutting all business that is not showing a profit. That means they are shutting down the entire Los Angeles-based company, which during the past 18 months has undergone key exec departures (and clients with them), layoffs and downsizing.
An employee at Ant Farm’s L.A. office who answered the phone declined to offer details when contacted by Deadline today, referring a request to a New York spokesperson. New York-based reps from Omnicom did not respond to requests for comment.
Ant Farm had been among the bigger Hollywood firms in the incredibly competitive marketplace that includes the likes of Trailer Park, Cimarron, mOcean, Buddha Jones, Mark Woollen & Associates and Mob Scene. As the blockbuster movie business has grown in scale in recent decades, even as studios become more cost-conscious, the once lavishly funded in-house marketing arms of Hollywood’s past evolved into a more outsourced environment. That led to a blossoming of trailer houses, which added many other media components to their offerings.
Cary Sachs, Ant Farm’s president of Television & Streaming, most recently left the company and moved to Mob Scene. He took with him clients including Amazon Studios, Disney Channels Worldwide, ABC, NatGeo, Sony Television, CBS, USA, MTV, ITV, WGN America, Fox Sports, TBS, TNT and Keshet among others.
That departure followed that of Ant Farm CEO and creative director Doug Brandt. He had taken the top role in 2013, arriving from Ant Farm’s wholly-owned Industry Creative, which after his departure was folded into Ant Farm. Rodd Perry, AF’s former CEO and co-president, also left last year to join Paramount Pictures as a creative advertising executive. He had been at the agency for two decades.
Recent theatrical-based campaigns at the company include trailers for Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Book Club and Warner Bros’ reboot of Tomb Raider, and promos for NBCUniversal’s live action mobile game Jurassic World Live.
Deadline’s Anita Busch contributed to this report.