Wed, 17 Mar 2021 12:31:42 GMT
MSQ, one of the UK’s fastest-growing tech-enabled marketing groups, has acquired the independent digital agency, MBA, for an undisclosed sum and merged it with its existing customer acquisition and engagement business, Stack.
The new entity will be known as MBAstack and sees 50 employees join forces to create a new agency that fuses the very best in data insight, smart tech and creativity to drive commercial leaps for its clients.
MBAstack will work with its clients to deliver this blend of ‘informed imagination’ through a nimble, entrepreneurial and collective approach that reflects today's fast paced e-commerce driven world.
MBAstack will be led by Stephen Maher, the founder of MBA, who’s named MBAstack chairman and CEO, Nicola Nimmo, the managing director of Stack, who becomes MBAstack managing director and James Middlehurst, the managing partner of MBA, who becomes MBAstack managing partner.
The combined business will have revenue of around £6 million and will have a combined client list that includes PSA Groupe (Peugeot, Citroen, DS), Royal Mail, HM Government, Interflora, Chiltern Railways, Innovate UK, Church & Dwight and Everest. It will be based at MSQ’s new London HQ in Covent Garden.
Both MBA and Stack have long been highly regarded agencies in the digital and customer engagement space. Founded in 1995 as Clark McKay Walpole, Stack has handled a number of high-profile CRM accounts, including the PSA Groupe business for the past 16 years. It appointed Nimmo as Managing Director in November last year and its work for Solace Women’s Aid was selected by Twitter as one of the best uses of its platform in 2020.
MBA was founded in 1994 and over the years has won numerous creative and effectiveness awards for brands such as O2, Everest and Royal Mail. It regularly features in Campaign Magazine’s list of the World’s Leading Independent Agencies and last month was ranked 4th in the AAR’s latest agency new business report.
Stephen Maher, chairman and CEO of MBAstack, says: “MBA has always been about driving ROI for its clients, and I’m delighted that, with this move, we’ll have even more collective firepower to generate powerful solutions for brands. We have been proudly independent for many years but when MSQ approached us we saw the same entrepreneurial spark, the same progressive digital and data-driven outlook and the same belief in the effectiveness of breakthrough creativity that we know is the winning combination in today’s competitive world of marketing.”
Nicola Nimmo, managing director of MBAstack, says: “MBAstack brings together leading experts in data, tech and creativity to form a customer experience agency that’s perfectly positioned for today’s client needs. By being restless and rigorous we’ll offer new, nimble ways to acquire customers – and keep them engaged”.
MBA is the second major acquisition made by MSQ in the past seven months, after the group bought fellow marketing communications group Be Heard Partnership last September. The deal saw MMT Digital, Freemavens and agenda21 join the group, significantly boosting MSQ’s overall tech and insight capabilities.
Kate Howe, executive director of MSQ, says: “MSQ is dedicated to building Emotional Capital for brands, driving stronger relationships with customers at every point in the journey. That’s why having a scaled agency that can successfully combine first-party data, martech and comms expertise is so important. MBA bring a shared passion and perspective that makes them a perfect fit for us and in MBAstack we’ve created a business that builds nicely on both agency’s previous success.”
With the addition of MBA, MSQ is now a business consisting of around 850 people, working in nine agencies across 12 global offices. The group has recently bolstered its production capabilities with the hire of Morgan Cox as its first Head of Dynamic Content and Production, and last year hired Rob Goodwin as its first Chief Data Officer. Goodwin will work closely with MBAstack to ensure that cutting-edge data capabilities sits at the heart of the agency’s offer.