The Academy, which was recently named PRWeek’s New Consultancy of the Year, has today reached agreement to merge with Shine Communications to form one of the UK’s biggest independent consumer PR agencies.
Mitchell Kaye and Daniel Glover, who founded The Academy in March 2014, will take a majority stake in Shine Communications. Rachel Bell, who founded Shine in 1998, will revert to the role of Chairman and remain a shareholder.
The Academy will become the name of the communications group, with Shine @ The Academy its consumer PR offering. Kaye and Glover plan to extend the group into other disciplines.
Kaye, who will assume the role of CEO of Shine and The Academy group, had two previous spells at Shine before being backed by Bell to set up Mischief in January 2006. Glover will become creative director of Shine and The Academy group. Kaye and Glover built Mischief into an award-winning agency before selling the business to Engine Group in July 2011.
Kaye said: “Dan and I always wanted to build a group and this gives us the opportunity to accelerate those plans. Shine was my first agency and therefore one that has always been close to my heart. The opportunity to lead Shine and expand The Academy’s offering is something we’re really excited about and cannot wait to get started.”
Glover said: “Our mission is to build an academy of companies that brings together the brightest minds to produce the best work in their respective fields. Shine has a reputation for developing brilliant PR people and producing industry-leading creative work so fits the criteria perfectly. We’ve used the last couple of years to develop a way of working that delivers intelligent thinking, applied creativity and world-class connection to push the boundaries of what PR can achieve for clients. It is now time to push on and scale that approach.”
Bell added: “My philosophy of letting people shine has been at the heart of Shine’s values since day one and was a big reason we set up the agency in the first place. So I am sure you can imagine my excitement at Mitch’s return to lead our combined businesses alongside Dan.”
The Academy, which also won two PRWeek campaign awards and the PRCA’s Best Small Agency in November, will move into Shine’s Hardwick Street offices with immediate effect. The newly merged agency will boast 40 staff and a client portfolio that includes the likes of QVC, Unicef, Sony, The Royal British Legion, Indesit Hotpoint and Lionsgate.
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