EDITORIAL: People matter in agency buy-ups

Incepta's acquisition of The Red Consultancy sends out a very positive message for anyone who firmly believes in PR as a people industry.

Incepta's acquisition of The Red Consultancy sends out a very positive message for anyone who firmly believes in PR as a people industry.

In securing an ambitious and financially assured future for their agency, Red founders Lesley Brend and David Fuller have also sought to secure the same for all 85 members of their staff.

Agreeing such terms is a headache for any potential buyer but Red has stuck to its guns in the belief that for the agency to succeed in the future those who have helped achieve that success thus far should be involved.

In Incepta it has found a like-minded company where 50 per cent of the workforce currently share a 25 per cent stake. In fact, the Red deal echoes Incepta's acquisition of Dewe Rogerson in 1998 when all of that agency's staff where offered shares.

For Brend and Fuller, both with experience of working within global agencies, the move suggests a desire to do things differently and an attempt to create a truly inclusive working culture.

Yes the move means staff are tied to the agency for the next couple of years to gain the benefits. But the deal shows that, as well as being successful PR practitioners, the agency founders also possess the business acumen which should ensure that being acquired by a Top 10 marketing services company does not disrupt the continued success of an agency which PRWeek has, in the last three years, twice voted the best in the business.





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