Two independent Wellington ad agencies are merging to scale up and take it to the big boys.
GSL Network and Promotus have combined forces (and names) to create GSLPromotus. In a Green Party-esque move, GSL managing director Leigh Graham and her counterpart at Promotus Sigrun Grice have been appointed co-CEOs.
According to Graham, the new agency will have a combined billing of more than $20 million. Together, the GSLPromotus team will be 25-strong and Graham says there won't be any job losses from the merger (although there is a conflicting financial role that needs to be resolved).
The merger is a logical next step to grow the two companies and expand their client base, says Graham – combining GSL's government sector work with Promotus' commercial and private sector clout.
"This wasn't done out of necessity but because there's an opportunity to grow," she says. Neither company has lost a client as a result of the merge, she adds.
Graham says GSL has been approached three times by overseas agencies (which she's unable to name due to non-disclosure agreements) looking to purchase the small company, and three times she's said no.
"We specifically decided not to be part of an international agency," she says.
"The international approach doesn't work for us. We want to provide independent, personal service. We don't want to be reporting to Melbourne, or Singapore or somewhere else."
GSLPromotus' official launch is 1 August. GSL's staff will move into Promotus's waterside office on Oriental Parade in the coming months.