Dentsu Aegis empire expands with acquisition of Little Giant

Dentsu Aegis Network has announced the acquisition of digital shop Little Giant, which will be linked with digital marketing agency Isobar.  

“I see this acquisition as an exciting next step in the evolution of Little Giant,” says Little Giant founder Mark Hurley. “As part of Isobar and Dentsu Aegis Network, we will dramatically enhance our ability to offer world-class creativity and digital innovation to existing and new clients within the New Zealand market. We have been extremely impressed by the vision of the Isobar brand, the alignment with our culture and values, and their desire to let us continue to operate the business as we do now. Our team is extremely excited about what the future holds.”

Little Giant was founded in 2011, and now boasts a team of more than 40 employees providing digitally focused creative services from Auckland’s CBD. The agency roster includes brands such as Fonterra, Les Mills, Rocketlab, Marketo, Harcourts, Firth and Spark. 

In 2015, the agency was named in the Deloitte NZ Fast 50, and 2016 Deloitte APAC Technology Fast 500. Following this impressive run of growth, Hurley was named a finalist in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in July (read our interview with Hurley here).

Despite the acquisition, Hurley will stay on as chief executive of Little Giant linked to Isobar and report directly to Dentsu New Zealand boss Rob Harvey.  

“As we continue on our journey to ensure our group and clients are leading in the digital economy, Little Giant, linked with Isobar is an important part of our strategy and will bring transformational digital creative capability to our New Zealand business,” Harvey says. “Mark is an outstanding leader and together with his team Little Giant have delivered market leading growth. They have done this through strong work and the development of an enviable culture. I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Mark and the Little Giant team into the Dentsu Aegis Network family.”

This is the latest in a string of high-profile moves made by Dentsu Aegis both locally and internationally. In May, the network announced the arrival of Australian-founded agency With Collective in the local market (also linked to Isobar) and further back it also acquired standout independent agency Barnes, Catmur & Friends.

These big strategic moves have also coincided with a number of big wins for the agency, most notably the Air New Zealand media account (with Carat) and the digital portion of the ASB account (with With Collective).

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