Russell Simmons' All Def Digital Launches In-House Ad Agency ADHD

Russell Simmons - Getty - H 2016

Josh Mandel, who previously served as managing director of R/GA, will head up the group.

Russell Simmons' All Def Digital has launched an in-house advertising agency called ADHD to help brands and agencies connect with the urban millennial audience. Josh Mandel, who previously served as managing director at R/GA and who has worked for such brands as Nike, Samsung, Beats by Dre, Activision and Adidas, will lead the group, it was announced Thursday by Simmons and All Def Digital CEO Sanjay Sharma.

"The U.S. population under 25 is already minority majority," said Simmons, who recently received Ad Age's Brand Visionary Award, "and hip-hop is an essential cultural expression for this audience. That is true in the United States and it is also true globally. Young people everywhere listen to hip-hop, or they’re heavily influenced by it. Just look at the three biggest media properties of 2015 — Straight Outta Compton, Empire and the Broadway hit Hamilton."

Said Mandel: "When I saw what Russell and Sanjay were doing with ADD, I was in immediately. Hip-hop permeates global pop culture across people of all ages, through nearly every art form. And yet its influence, and hence a massive audience, remains an after-thought for many in our industry. I’m excited to put the culture front-and-center where it belongs, in our conversations with today’s youth and in today’s commerce."