The PR Net 100, 2023: 5th Column

5th Column (5C) is a a leading marketing and communications agency that has excelled beyond traditional public relations with its strong foundation in wine & spirits and luxury consumer brands to expanding its scope as a pioneer in virtual worlds, gaming and Web3 marketing and communications, recognizing the transformative potential of these technologies for the future of digital consumption. The consumer and emerging technology teams operate at the intersection of innovation and cultural influence, connecting brands with communities in ways that challenge convention and demand attention  They built a new division and revenue stream during the pandemic, guiding both consumer and gaming clients in integrating digital assets and virtual worlds into their marketing strategies, targeting Gen A, GenZ and beyond. Their unique approach has led to partnerships with brands like Hennessy H3NSY and clients breaking into emerging industries, such as BlockBar in luxury wine and spirits, FlickPlay in AR/retail/consumer engagement and NYX Cosmetics & People of Crypto Lab (POCLab) in DEI in the metaverse and Web3. This past year, 5C reignited its hospitality division, exemplified by its comprehensive support for the launch of Virgin Hotels NYC with ongoing AOR work for the brand and also executed a multimillion-dollar event for Birkenstock (with big upcoming projects this year), transforming Cipriani Wall Street into a forest to capture the brand's essence and marking the first-ever Birkenstock USA brand event with the integration of new products like bedding.

Leadership team:

Akbar Hamid, Founder & CEO

Jana Epstein Gettinger, Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President

Nathaniel Puksta, Executive Board

Jaclyn York, Partner & Vice President

Ashley Turnbaugh, Vice President

Kristen Nosokoff, Account Director

Notable long-term clients:

Birkenstock, Virgin Hotels, NYX Cosmetics (web3 specific), The Sandbox, Champagne Bollinger, The Dalmore Whisky, Doodles, Chambord, Silhouette Eyewear, ZOA Energy

New client wins:

Hennessy (H3NSY Innovation, Web3, Emerging Tech work only), Virgin Hotels

Explain how your agency is pushing the boundaries of PR and communications by integrating innovative strategies, tools, or technologies to enhance your offerings and benefit your clients. 

“5th Column (5C) leverages cultural currency to ignite growth for the world’s most influential, established and emerging brands. We are a leading marketing and communications agency that excels beyond traditional public relations, infusing our unique understanding of emerging technologies to optimize clients' marketing efforts, reach new audiences and drive consumer engagement. Our teams operate at the intersection of innovation and cultural influence, connecting brands with communities in ways that challenge convention and demand attention. We are thrilled to be rethinking the way brands across our core practice areas from wine & spirits, fashion & beauty to luxury + retail engage with consumers while continuing to support their ongoing media relations and strategic business objectives.” 

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