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Social and Influencer Agency the Fifth Is Shutting Down UK Talent Arm

The Fifth, a social-creative agency originating in the UK, is shutting down its talent-management arm in the country, the company confirmed to Business Insider.

The company is part of News UK, a media conglomerate that operates news outlets like The Times, The Sunday Times, and The Sun. News UK is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

The Fifth was founded in 2019 by Oliver Lewis, formerly News UK’s director of digital strategy and partnerships, and The Fifth’s talent division was launched a year later.

According to its website, the talent division has a roster of about 30 creators across a number of niches, with many micro and mid-tier influencers (with less than 500,000 followers across social-media platforms).

Citing changes in the UK market, the company said it had decided to focus its efforts on the social-creative and influencer-marketing side of the business. It’s worked with brands like Eurostar, BareMinerals, and Tag Heuer, among others.

The Fifth has also absorbed News UK’s production agency Studio PI as part of the shift.

“In the past 12 months within the creator talent management space, we have seen the market shift in the UK, with increased investment from more traditional talent agencies with larger infrastructures and a broader service now focused in the creator space,” the company said in a statement.

“This is a positive for the entire industry and a sign of growth, and whilst we are proud of our role to this point, we have made the decision that others are better placed to service our talent’s ambitions at the level required in this booming industry,” the statement added.

A company spokesperson told BI that the change would affect less than 10 people, and that some on the talent team would remain in the company and join the client services team in the UK.

The spokesperson also said that The Fifth is expanding its US operations in line with the client and market opportunity.  

Layoffs and restructurings have become commonplace in the creator economy over the past year as companies respond to a shifting market, with changes affecting dozens of companies, from social-media platforms like Meta and TikTok, to startups like Linktree and Karat.

“What VCs are basically asking these firms to do, especially startups, is to be more productive and to make sure that they’re in a position to become profitable sooner rather than later,” Dan Wang, an associate professor at Columbia Business School, previously told BI. “Rather than deliver the promise of growth, they have to basically concentrate on the fundamentals of business, and doing so often means cutting costs.”

Do you work at The Fifth or other talent management firms in the UK or have insight to share? Reach out from a non-work email at [email protected] or on social media @martabiino.

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