The co-founders of Partners Andrews Aldridge’s data arm, Fuel, have struck a deal for their latest insight venture to become part of the Karma Communications Group, as the firm behind the Karmarama agency looks to ratchet up its data-driven approach.
James Harrison (pictured, second from right) and Nick Horswell co-founded Fuel in late 2002, having met at PHD when Harrison set up its insight division, Apollo PHD.
Jonathan Buck and Simon Wall joined Fuel as partners from Accenture within weeks and the agency launched operationally in January 2003. Partners Andrews Aldridge co-founders Phil Andrews and Steve Aldridge also took a stake in the business.
The data unit was a key part of Engine Group’s £18m acquisition of Partners Andrews Aldridge in 2008, but Harrison quit the group in 2009, setting up two businesses, Ignition Ventures and Right Now Group.
Horswell, who as Fuel chairman continued to run his own consultancy, Uncle, left to concentrate on that business.
Ignition will now become part of Karma’s Konnect business, which is positioned as a CRM unit. The senior team will work alongside Karmarama chief strategy officer for data and insight Mark Runacus (pictured, far right).
Horswell will be chairman, while the management will also include Stefano Matteoli, a digital analyst who founded the data consultancy Spectrum Analytics and the former head of Ogilvy data strategy and consulting Mark Phillips (pictured, second from left).
Crayon CI, Karmarama’s data insight business, continues to operate as a separate entity.
Karmarama executive chairman Jon Wilkins (pictured far left) said: “We believe creativity without data is vanity, but data without creativity leads to those annoying ads that follow you round the Internet.”
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