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Dentsu Aegis Network Acquires Manchester Agency BJL


BJL will continue to be led by Nicky Unsworth, Jackie Holt and Iain Kerr

Dentsu Aegis Network Acquires Manchester Agency BJL

Dentsu Aegis Network today announces the acquisition of Manchester-based creative agency, BJL.

Since launching in 1987, BJL has grown to be one of the biggest and most awarded independent creative agencies in the region, expanding into London in 2014. Today, the agency employs 75 people who work with a diverse range of both consumer and B2B clients such as Craghoppers, BASF, Pilkington, Ronseal, Skipton Building Society, Subaru Europe, Florette, Hilton and The Co-operative Bank.

BJL’s expertise in brand strategy, advertising, content production, PR, social media and CRM complements Dentsu Aegis Network’s already significant media, digital, data and technology capabilities in the region, and further strengthens the network’s ability to deliver more effective solutions for clients. 

BJL will continue to be led by Nicky Unsworth as CEO, Jackie Holt as managing partner and Iain Kerr as commercial director, who all completed a management buyout of the agency in 2004. Both the agency’s Manchester and London teams will remain in their existing offices.

Nicky Unsworth, CEO

Rachel McDonald, managing director, Dentsu Aegis Network North said: “We have worked with BJL for many years and admired both the stand-out creative work that they deliver and the impressive talent they’ve grown from their headquarters in Manchester. The addition of BJL further strengthens our offering and ability to offer true end-to-end brand solutions for our clients across creative, media, digital and technology.”

Nicky Unsworth, chief executive officer, BJL added: “During our 30-year history we have enjoyed strong growth thanks to our longstanding and successful relationships with our clients as well as our unwavering commitment to delivering standout work. Having built our integrated model around the changing needs of brands and their consumers, we are ready now to embark on the next phase of our growth as part of Dentsu Aegis Network.”

Dentsu Aegis North employs 700 people across Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Newcastle, providing media, digital, creative, data and technology services for clients such as N Brown Group, Pets at Home, Thomas Cook, Halfords, and Holland & Barrett. The acquisition of BJL further demonstrates the group’s commitment to strengthening capabilities across the UK.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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