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DDB Worldwide acquires London-based adam&eve

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MUMBAI: Omnicom Group‘s DDB Worldwide has acquired three year old London-based communications agency adam&eve. In a month‘s time, the indie agency will be merged into its parent company and will be rechristened as adam&eve/DDB.

The indie agency said that it has reached a stage of growth that called for an ability to serve international client briefs. Working with brands like YouTube, Google and John Lewis highlighted the need for a strong network of like-minded agencies and DDB seemed to fit the bill. adam&eve were advised by Clarity (corporate finance), Osborne Clarke (legal) and Kingston Smith W1 (due diligence).

The agency was founded in 2008 by RKCR/Y&R execs -- David Golding, James Murphy and Ben Priest -- and Jon Forsyth from Naked. After initial reluctance to sell out, the decision to do so was reached gradually as the people in both businesses got to know each other over almost a year, and realised potential of their combined forces, the company said in a statement.

The new company will be based at Bishops Bridge Road in London.

According to a statement issued by DDB Worldwide, post this acquisition adam&eve/DDB will feature in UK‘s top six by revenue and top 10 by UK media billings. The new entity will be an important hub for the DDB Global network providing a combination of entrepreneurial energy and creative flair to client.

The management committee at adam&eve/DDB will have Stephen Woodord as chairman and Murphy will hold the post of founder CEO. Priest will take on the responsibilities of founder/ECD, Golding will hold the post of founder/chief strategy officer and Forsyth will be founder/chief communications strategy officer. The committee will also include Tribal MD Tom Roberts, ECD Emer Stamp and ECD Ben Tollett. Further announcements about roles in the new agency will be made in due course of time.

DDB Worldwide president and CEO Chuck Brymer said, "From the first time we met with James, Ben, David and Jon, I knew adam&eve would be a great fit with the DDB culture, with our UK team and our network. Their creativity and success to date fits perfectly with our ambitions for London and adds world-class talent to what is already one of our best offices. Joining the two agencies will further strengthen what has always been a creative powerhouse in the London market and globally."

The adam&eve founders said in statement, "It is both an honour and an incredible opportunity to be uniting adam&eve with DDB. We have worked tirelessly with an outstanding team to build a successful and creatively regarded communications agency serving big, blue-chip and respected clients. We intend to continue doing so as we lead adam&eve/DDB into a new period, energised with a sense of entrepreneurial drive and creative energy. Our two agencies share a similar culture, ambition and purpose."

DDB UK chairman and CEO Stephen Woodford added, "I am delighted that adam&eve have decided to join forces with DDB. I really like them as people, I‘ve admired their work since the agency started and the fit between our two agencies could not be better in terms of values, talent and clients. Together we will build on the energy and entrepreneurialism of London‘s best start-up, by adding DDB‘s scale of resources and talent, driven by the creative passion that unites both businesses."

As a result of the takeover, there may arise potential client conflict issues to resolve such as adam&eve handling departmental store John Lewis and DDB servicing its rival Harvey Nichols. According to the official communiqué from the agency, these issues will be resolved after consulting the clients under confidential conditions.

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