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Brandtech Group You & Mr Jones Acquires Majority Stake in OLIVER

Advertising Agency
London, UK
In-house digital marketing model pioneer joins fast-growing marketing technology group

You & Mr Jones, the global brandtech group, today announced the acquisition of a majority stake in OLIVER and Inside Ideas Group, the global market leader in building in-house digital capabilities for brands. 

You & Mr Jones, the world’s first Brandtech group, launched in June 2015 after raising $350MM to build an industry-disrupting new technology group that would 'help brands do their marketing better, faster and cheaper using technology'.

Simon Martin, founder and CEO of OLIVER and Inside Ideas Group says: “We're excited to be joining a group that enables our clients to tap into a broad range of amazing tech-led products and capabilities. We already offer brand marketers a totally new in-house creative model – now they will also be able to access a wider spectrum of the most advanced and innovative marketing technology solutions.”

“We had a great deal of interest in our business, but for us the opportunity to be part of a brandtech group and to connect our in-house model to the world's leading marketing technology platform, was by far the most interesting.” 

David Jones, founder and CEO of You & Mr Jones, says: “When we launched in 2015, we set out to disrupt marketing using technology and to create a brand-new model for clients. Simon is a brilliant talent and with OLIVER he's created an equally disruptive model that's delivering brilliant creativity in-house and generating hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for global brands. 

“Plugging OLIVER’s in-house model – and its sophisticated content creation and management technology platform – into our You & Mr Jones tech ecosystem is a very powerful combination. Together, we can create enterprise-level marketing solutions at an unprecedented scale and transform profoundly how a brand does its marketing.”

OLIVER pioneered the in-house model that is reshaping the marketing landscape by creating dedicated in-house capabilities, which operate from within clients’ organisations. This significant acquisition comes at a time of seismic change and massive disruption in the marketing industry. The number of brands taking marketing in-house is rapidly increasing, as a recent study by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) found

Since its launch in 2004, OLIVER and Inside Ideas Group have grown to 1,500 staff working in 146 in-house teams across 36 countries, with annual revenues of more than $150MM. Oliver collaborates with Unilever on its U-Studios, which help create content for Unilever’s brand teams faster, more efficiently and, as stated in company reporting by Unilever CFO, Graham Pitkethly, costing around 30% less than external solutions. Other Inside Ideas Group clients include Adidas, Marriott, BMW, Microsoft, Virgin Media, 3M, Barclaycard, Google, The Guardian, PepsiCo, AXA and Manulife. 

Keith Weed, chief marketing and communications officer of Unilever, says: “We were an early convert to the radically different approach that OLIVER takes in partnering with its clients and we have also seen the great advantages of working with the You & Mr Jones ecosystem of technology companies. This is an exciting deal and it will deliver significant advantages for brands looking to deliver better, faster, cheaper marketing at global scale.”

Mich Mathews, You & Mr Jones board member and former Global CMO of Microsoft says: “Everyone is now clear on the extent of the problem in the traditional marketing world, but there are still very few solutions at global scale. We're thrilled to welcome OLIVER to the group. This is a really exciting move that combines the market leaders in in-housing with the number one marketing technology platform – it delivers a completely unique enterprise-level solution for major global brands looking to modernise and improve their marketing and advertising."

You & Mr Jones has completed 39 deals since launch, including making significant investments in technology platforms such as Pinterest, Niantic (creators of Pokémon Go and upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite), blockchain-enabled payments transparency solution Amino, AI conversational marketing company Automat, the revolutionary AI Foundation, leading IoT platform for brands, Evrythng, together with acquiring people-powered marketing companies Mofilm and theAmplify, data company 55, mobile-marketing company Mobkoi, and creative-innovation company Gravity Road.

This move will help accelerate the growth of OLIVER internationally and reinforce its technology credentials. OLIVER’s well-established and proprietary content creation and management technology platform will dovetail into You & Mr Jones tech ecosystem, creating seamless and efficient access to a full range of technology-driven solutions for global brands.

Inside Idea Group management team retains a significant stake in the business and remains committed to its long-term future.