Interpublic-owned agency group Draftfcb has bolstered its London operation with the acquisition of digital outfit Blue Barracuda. The merger will increase Draftfcb's London footprint by 50 percent, and help drive further growth in what it views as a key market, the company said.
Following the purchase Blue Barracuda will be integrated with Draftfcb's existing team and operations, with the resulting entity branded Draftfcb London "Fuelled by Blue Barracuda."
The combined agency will offer a range of on and offline marketing services, with its digital capabilities including strategy and campaign planning , as well as full-service execution and online media buying and planning. For production duties the outfit will tap Blue Barracuda's offshore production facilities located in Talinn, Estonia.
Draftfcb's current London-based management team will be joined by Blue Barracuda's, with former CEO Martin Talks taking on the role of president of digital, while Marcus Exall and Adrian Nicholls assuming the roles of digital director and client services director, respectively.
Commenting on the acquisition in a news release, Talks said Barracuda's approach "is not so much on perfect, artistic creations but on fluid, agile experiences," adding, "Clients must accept being in an operational model where they are in a perpetual 'beta' state to maximize the opportunities that rapid change presents."
The acquired agency's previous clients have included Pizza Hut, Getty Images, and Roche pharmaceuticals, among others. It was founded in London in 2002. Draftfcb's global network spans 99 countries and employs more than 9,000 people, it said.
Draftfcb has 120 employees in the U.K.; Blue Barracuda has about 60.
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March 19, 2014