Creston-owned agency giant Unlimited Group has merged its two Bristol-based direct marketing agencies, The Real Adventure and EMO, to form Prophecy Unlimited, claimed to be one of the biggest UK agencies outside London.
The move, which follows Creston’s £75.8m sale to Isle of Man-based DBay Advisors late last year, creates an agency of 200 people.
It is being flagged up as the group’s bid to pursue the post-Brexit opportunities that lie beyond the capital and break out of what it calls the “Soho-bubble”.
It follows research carried out by ICM Unlimited, which revealed that 72% of those outside of London felt that “people who work in London have very different views of Britain compared to those who work outside of London”.
In addition it found that those living outside London were almost twice as likely to agree that marketing agencies’ activities and campaigns are too focused on what a London audience wants.
Key clients will include Toyota, Danone, Costa, and BMW and the new agency will become home to five of the Unlimited Group’s top 20 clients.
EMO Unlimited managing director Peter Brown becomes CEO of the new agency, while Real Adventure digital director and joint managing director at Unlimited Matt Hardy becomes chief technology officer. Real Adventure’s creative director, Ian Bates, will be creative director.
Meanwhile, Beth Pope, joint managing director at Real Adventure, is taking on a broader role as chief client officer for Unlimited Group clients.
Her immediate focus will be on building the Danone offering for the group, and, as a result, she will be closely involved with Prophecy Unlimited, which leads this long-standing client relationship. Merry Scott Jones becomes client and change director.
Unlimited Group chairman Tim Bonnet said: “The creation of Prophecy Unlimited sees two great agencies coming together to create a best-in-class offering that explores every aspect of a customer’s interaction with a brand. This, in many respects, is a perfect marriage of equals as both agencies over-achieved last year in a tough market.
“Prophecy Unlimited’s launch also marks a step change because we have created one of the most relevant and dynamic offerings in the market. It’s timely, it’s got scale, and it’s one of the biggest agency offerings outside of London at a time, post-Brexit, when clients require true insight into the views and behaviours of the entire UK population.”
Launching this week, Prophecy Unlimited will focus on applying insight, creativity, data, and technology to pre-empt changes in customer behaviour.
Brown added: “The changing nature of the consumer and client landscape led to our strong belief that we were best placed to deliver our ambition of providing seamless customer journeys, from acquisition to loyalty, by coming together to create a new type of agency with real scale and significance.”
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