Never say never: Publicis Groupe acquires MBM

  • Media
  • August 14, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Never say never: Publicis Groupe acquires MBM
MBM's Alysha Delany, Sean McCready, Matt Bale

Publicis Groupe ANZ has announced the acquisition of New Zealand’s independent, full-service media agency MBM.

The agency has a national presence with offices in Auckland and Wellington, and over 80 employees. MBM will continue to operate business as usual across its existing offices, led by its three managing partners Matt Bale, based in Wellington; and Sean McCready and Alysha Delany based in Auckland.

MBM will retain its branding and all services, with the managing partners working collaboratively with Alistair Jamison, CEO of Publicis Media New Zealand.

On the acquisition, Michael Rebelo, CEO of Publicis Groupe, ANZ said: “Our future success depends on our ability to adapt at pace – structurally as an organisation – and through the behaviours of our people. We were drawn to MBM because they clearly share this vision, having continuously evolved their offering to meet the needs of an ever-changing industry.

“New Zealand is an important growth market for the Groupe and the acquisition of MBM is the first in a series of investments we will be making in the region to further strengthen our existing brands and grow new capabilities here.”

MBM’s long-standing key clients include Trade Me, Z Energy, TSB, Whittaker’s, VTNZ, Fisher & Paykel and Goodman Fielder. Its recent new business wins have included Burger King and Tower.

The managing partners in a joint statement said: “We are excited to join the Publicis Media group as MBM continues building momentum and enters its next phase of business growth. We have invested significantly in our digital and analytics capabilities over the last few years, and we have a solid foundation of fantastic local clients.

“This puts us in a great position to continue to grow into the future, with a commitment to bring success to our clients through the power of data-led communications. MBM will be led by our existing management team who remain committed to running the business for years to come.

“This new partnership combines MBM’s entrepreneurial spirit and highly talented team with the scale, resources and tools of a significant international agency group, to increase our focus around data-led communications.”

In May, NZ Marketing spoke to Bale about the evolution of media agencies and he said being an independent is an important part of MBM's values and culture.

​“I think it’s certainly been a symbol of MBM being different.”

And when asked if MBM is going to be independent for much longer, he said:

“It’s no secret that is strong M&A activity happening in this sector, and it’s no secret people have made offers to us in the past. Never say never I guess, but what I know 100 percent is that having an independent spirit is a part of the MBM DNA.”

MBM was founded in 2010 by McCready and Bale. It will now join Publicis Media agencies: Starcom, Zenith, Spark Foundry, Performics, Digitas.

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