Ruben Igielko-Herrlich, the co-founder of the marketing firm Propaganda GEM who as a leader in product placement oversaw major brand integrations in Hollywood, has died. He was 62.
Igielko-Herrlich died March 7 in Beverly Hills after a nearly four-year battle with glioblastoma brain cancer, a spokesperson for Principal Communications Group announced.
Igielko-Herrlich founded Propaganda Global Entertainment Marketing with friend and business partner Anders Granath in 1991. Over the next 30 years, their company grew to have 10 offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America.
Under his leadership, Propaganda was responsible for ground-breaking brand integrations that saw Keanu Reeves using a high-end Nokia flip phone in The Matrix and Tom Cruise behind the wheel of BMWs in Mission: Impossible movies.
Igielko-Herrlich would become a go-to liaison connecting Hollywood studios and celebrities with his clients, which also included Gucci, Bulgari, Piaget, Lamborghini and Rimowa. Studios, filmmakers, talent and brands trusted him for his vision and integrations into storylines.
Igielko-Herrlich was born on March 15, 1960, in Havana, where his mother had fled following the Holocaust. When he was 10 months old, he and his family immigrated to Switzerland after Fidel Castro came to power, and he was raised in Geneva.
He earned his bachelor’s degree at HEC Lausanne and his master’s at Emory University in Atlanta, then moved to New York, where he worked with such luxury brands as Tiffany and Bulgari. Unsatisfied with corporate life, he returned to Geneva at age 30 and met Granath; they launched Propaganda GEM soon afterward.
Survivors include his wife, Lara; children Cyrus and Charis; mother Elizabeth; and siblings, Rebecca, Hanna, Evelyn and Albert.
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