Karla Otto Doubles Down on Influencer Internet marketing With New Acquisition | BoF Expert, News & Analysis

On Thursday, global vogue and magnificence agency group The Independents announced the acquisition of Paris-based influencer advertising and marketing agency Lefty. As a final result, manner company Karla Otto, a person of The Independents’ agencies, will get started giving formal influencer advertising and marketing expert services.

“More than ever, agility is very critical and when we speak about influencers, we see that [the space] has revealed excellent resilience throughout this COVID crisis,” mentioned Isabelle Chouvet, chief govt of The Independents. In 2017, Karla Otto and K2 merged to kind The Independents, finally also buying Dubai-primarily based luxurious communications agency The Qode. Prior to the Lefty acquisition, Karla Otto labored with influencers by pairing them with their brand customers, though the business did not have an in-home system to explore new influencers or track influencer knowledge.

“Having these technological details capabilities will support us with the transformation of the way the company expert services their purchasers,” she added.

The conditions of the deal with Lefty were not disclosed, though its a few co-founders — Thomas Repelski, Roman Berenstein and Christian Rivasseau — will come to be associates and shareholders in The Independents.

Karla Otto has beforehand worked with Lefty, which was founded in 2015, on numerous initiatives. By bringing the business underneath The Independents’ umbrella, it will provide Karla Otto the varieties of entry to knowledge that normally needs much more means to make out in-dwelling. (For case in point, measuring the effect of an influencer campaign according to sales or gained media benefit.)

Lefty co-founder Repelski reported that when performing with clients, the company actions the impressions on social media of an influencer marketing campaign from the value of a social media advert purchase, although accounting for regional differences that may effect price tag as very well — details that will be useful to Karla Otto, given its world wide access. (The agency has places of work in 12 metropolitan areas, including London, New York and Tokyo.)

Chouvet, who introduced Karla Otto’s sister agency K2 in Japan and used a great deal of her vocation primarily based in Shanghai, mentioned that growing the firm’s influencer access in Asia is its upcoming priority. A distinct place of concentration is China — where by critical viewpoint leaders (or KOLs, as they are called colloquially) are integral towards driving product sales of luxurious brands as effectively as their own in what is mostly a reopened financial state.

The acquisition announcement comes just after a 12 months of difficulty for numerous of fashion’s greatest general public relations firms, as the pandemic compelled several vogue brands to scale again their communications and advertising spending in get to maintain their broader small business. (Karla Otto was not immune: at the starting of the pandemic past April, it reduce about two dozen personnel in its New York workplace.)

As expert services like celebration manufacturing — a considerable revenue driver for several of the biggest companies ahead of the pandemic — came to a halt in excess of the previous yr, corporations have pivoted to pandemic-evidence solutions like influencer advertising.

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