Golin acquires The Brooklyn Brothers to create 'hybrid agency'

Interpublic Group PR network Golin has acquired creative agency The Brooklyn Brothers in a bid to further develop its integrated marketing services.

Left to right: Jackie Stevenson, George Bryant, Guy Barnett, Paul Parton, and Matt Neale.
Left to right: Jackie Stevenson, George Bryant, Guy Barnett, Paul Parton, and Matt Neale.

Golin CEO Fred Cook said the aim was to create a "new type of hybrid agency".

The Brooklyn Brothers is an independent creative consultancy with offices in the UK, US and Brazil, and 130 staff. With annual revenues exceeding £20m ($28.5m), TBB has sought to offer paid, owned and earned media services to clients such as Jaguar Land Rover, Castrol and the Iceland Tourist Board.

Founding partners Guy Barnett (creative), George Bryant (innovation), Paul Parton (strategy) and Jackie Stevenson (account management) will continue to manage TBB operations. David Watson, original London founding partner, will continue to work with the team in 2016, after which he plans to leave the business.

Matt Neale, Golin’s New-York based international president, joins TBB’s board.

Golin, with annual global revenues exceeding £125m, is believed to have paid around £30m ($42.8m) for TBB, with the majority of payment made in a management earn-out. TBB will be run separately but the two agencies will seek to share skills and work jointly on big clients.

"If you were starting a global creative agency today, it would look like The Brooklyn Brothers," said Neale. "TBB operates at the apex of paid and earned media with an exceptional bench of senior talent that delivers compelling content across multiple platforms. It will be a tremendous asset for our clients."

TBB's Stevenson, who becomes global MD, reporting to Neale, said: "Our clients are looking for ideas that unite the marketing and PR disciplines and experts who can operate seamlessly across both worlds. We’ve always strived to build our agency at the intersection of marketing and PR and the Golin team shares our passion and commitment."

In 2011 Golin restructured globally, getting rid of classic PR agency roles such as account directors and account managers in favour of the ‘g4 model’, which separates out specialisms such as creative, campaign planning and media relations.

Cook told PRWeek: "At a time when marketing services are converging, this merger enables us to create a new type of hybrid agency. It gives us critical mass in London, New York and, soon, Los Angeles. TBB also enhances our ability to provide content, creativity and paid media services to our clients. It is an extraordinary leap forward in offering our g4 set of services."

Golin, a sister IPG network to Weber Shandwick, won PRWeek UK’s Agency of the Year in 2015 and International Agency of the Year in 2014. TBB’s awards include a Cannes Gold Lion for its ‘Inspired by Iceland’ campaign in 2012 and a Silver Lion for NBC’s ‘Coach Ted Lasso’ in 2015.

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