Sid Lee launches a content division

Joseph Barbieri will helm the new practice, which will focus on creating editorial content for clients.

Sid Lee is the latest agency to get into the branded content space, with a new division dedicated to creating custom editorial content for clients, says Vito Piazza, president of Sid Lee Toronto and partner at the agency.

The new division has been a couple years in the making and bubbled up out of conversations with clients, rather than fulfilling an immediate need. “This is us being attentive to the conversations our clients are having with us and other people,” Piazza says. “We’ve been putting the pieces together for a while. It’s not like all of a sudden we’re getting into content – we’ve been in content in different ways [before]. Now we’re just moving into that editorial, on-going service offering, which is not what a traditional agency would offer.”

Joseph Barbieri will helm the new division as the managing director, content and media partnerships. Most recently, he worked as president and founder of Bespoke Group, a custom content marketing business, and has also been SVP marketing and business development at custom publishing house Totem (formerly Redwood) and VP content solutions at TC Media.

He joined the agency at the end of 2013, and has already started working with existing clients to see how they can work more content into developed or developing campaigns and programs, as well as approaching clients with new on-going content ideas, Piazza says.

“A lot of marketers today are making a lot of progress [into content],” he says. “But a lot are still asking themselves what they need to do to succeed in that space. We’re already in content, but this is us going one step further.”