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London Acquisition for Stagwell

February 23 2024

Marcoms group Stagwell has acquired London-based Sidekick, an agency collective with skills in experiential marketing, digital storytelling and branded content - and will combine it with its San Francisco-based global marketing and comms consultancy Allison.

London Acquisition for StagwellAllison is known as a PR and marcoms agency but has added a number of measurement, analytics and feedback-related solutions in the last two and a half years (details here). Last month it announced that Global CEO Scott Allison would soon step down from the role to focus on company expansion through acquisitions, to be replaced by co-founder and Global COO Jonathan Heit.

The firm has been expanding in Europe, appointing James Townsend as CEO, EMEA and launching a regional hub at the Blue Fin Building in London to connect its 15+ agencies and over 1900 employees within the region. The Sidekick buy will accelerate this process as well as adding expertise in 'integrated brand storytelling', performance marketing and data analytics.

The Sidekick Group launched three years ago with the merger of experiential agency Kreate and content agency Many Makers. Following the Stagwell buy, Sidekick's co-founders Duncan McCaslin and Ollie Burgoyne will remain as Managing Directors of their respective teams and will join Allison's European management team; while Directors William Howe and Stephen Bradley will also move across in their current roles. The firms say no other staffing changes are planned.

Mark Penn, Chairman and CEO of Stagwell comments: 'Sidekick is at the forefront of storytelling and will be an essential part of the challenger marketing network we are building in Europe. As we embark on our next chapter in Europe, I'm excited to welcome Duncan and Ollie to our network and see Allison continue to transform its content innovation capabilities'.

McCaslin says the Allison and Sidekick teams have 'worked successfully together over the last year or so' and joining forces is 'the logical next step'. Burgoyne says the companies 'share the same vision and values' and adds: 'I can't wait for our teams to work as one and to be a part of the exciting growth plans that Scott and team have in place'.

Stagwell employs around 13,000 people in 34 countries and is online at www.stagwellglobal.com , while Allison can be found at www.allisonworldwide.com .

All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas, 2024- by Nick Thomas, unless otherwise stated.

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