Next Fifteen to acquire Story Worldwide

Next Fifteen has agreed to acquire the trade and assets of content marketing agency Story Worldwide, the holding company said Tuesday morning.

LONDON: Next Fifteen has agreed to acquire the trade and assets of content marketing agency Story Worldwide, the holding company said Tuesday morning.

The firm has offices in New York and Seattle, with a client roster including Unilever, Beech-Nut, and Lexus.

"The worlds of advertising, PR, social, digital, mobile, and so on are all colliding, or better still colluding. We call it content advertising – the true integration of all channels anchored by a core narrative," said Story Worldwide co-CEO Simon Kelly. "I’ve known [Dyson] for 22 years or more, and hope it doesn’t take that long again for the rest of the world to realize that content advertising is the only advertising left."

Next Fifteen CEO Tim Dyson said in a note to staff that the deal "continues the group’s strategy of investing in digital content and insight businesses."

"We want to create a new type of integrated marketing group — one that positions itself around the technology of marketing: data, insight, analytics, apps, content platforms, and, of course, content itself," he said in the memo.

For the 12-month period ending July 31, the holding company’s revenue was up 5% organically to $163.2 million, including 12% in the US.

For the last six months of that period, revenue grew 7% globally to nearly $84 million, including 11% in the US.

The holding company said in its earnings statement that Outcast, Blueshirt, Beyond, and Text100 all saw double-digit US organic revenue increases in the fiscal year, while "M Booth, Connections Media, 463, and Bite US showed encouraging trading performances."

Revenue growth in EMEA and Asia-Pacific were flat during the half-year period, while its UK business achieved like-for-like revenue growth of 4% in the last six months of the period. Total annual reported revenue was up 6% to $162.9 million.

In August, Next Fifteen merged the mainland European and APAC operations of Bite into those of Text100.

This story was updated on October 7 with quotes from Kelly. It was also updated with additional financial information.

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