Once Upon A Time – the agency set up by the founders of Chemistry Communications – has acquired youth, entertainment and technology media specialist MJ Media for an undisclosed sum.
Launched in 1997, MJ Media employs over 120 staff and is the group’s fourth acquisition, with clients including 2K Games, Fujifilm, Hooch, Merrell, Cat and Bestival.
The deal is aligned with Once Upon A Time’s strategy to offer what it claims is an independent, integrated approach from advertising to in-store POS.
Once Upon A Time was set up by Joe Garton and Diane Charlton in February 2014, when the duo acquired Soho-based B-Group London, which offered digital, relationship marketing, advertising, shopper and sports marketing.
It has since added music project management specialist Clear Sound & Vision and sports marketing agency Red Baron Enterprises to the group; clients include Universal Pictures, Disney, Warner Bros, Lindt, Russian Standard Vodka, Hasbro and Pfizer.
In November 2015, it secured £2.5m in private equity backing from Calculus Capital to bolster its operating budget and continue to fund expansion.
Once Upon A Time chief executive Garton said: “We are delighted that MJ Media is joining us as it will enable us to deliver highly targeted and effective creative and media returns to our clients, particularly in the digital space.”
MJ Media managing director Matt Fuller added: “I believe that the future of media involves working side by side with creative development and joining Once Upon A Time will enable us to be the first independent to bring both under one roof. We are delighted to be part of shaping and defining a new agency model and be at the forefront of the changing communications landscape.”
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