Clarity buys creative SEO and analytics agency

Global comms agency Clarity has bought UK consultancy 3WhiteHats, a creative SEO, paid and analytics specialist, and is in "active conversations" about further acquisitions.

3WhiteHats strategy and innovation director Will Julian-Vicary (left) with MD Tom Telford
3WhiteHats strategy and innovation director Will Julian-Vicary (left) with MD Tom Telford

3WhiteHats generates more than £1m annually and its clients include Aon, Invesco, and Abellio. Its London-based staff will move to Clarity's office in the capital once it reopens, while 3WhiteHats' office in Falmouth, Cornwall, will remain.

Clarity said the addition of 3WhiteHats expands the range of services it offers and "enables more expansive and impactful campaigns to be delivered for both agencies’ clients".

The acquisition, which brings Clarity's global headcount to 86 and UK workforce to 32, follows that of Benelux tech PR and communications specialist Yellow Communications last year and London-based consumer tech PR firm Dynamo in 2019.

Clarity also took on Brew PR in Los Angeles in 2019 as part of the deal that saw Freuds-backed network The Brewery acquire a minority stake in the firm. At the time, Clarity founder and CEO Sami McCabe said the deal allowed the agency to move faster on its growth plan, which included buying other firms. 

McCabe said today: “The acquisition of 3WhiteHats is an important milestone in our growth story, and will create enormous opportunity for both teams to work on truly integrated campaigns for a growing client base of some of the most exciting and ambitious businesses on earth.

"Our company cultures are a perfect fit, and we’re already seeing some stunning collaborations that generate exceptional results for our clients, as well as a lot of fun and excitement for our teams. We are committed to continuing to evolve our offerings to meet and anticipate what clients will need throughout their growth journey, as well as creating interesting new opportunities for our people.”

Tom Telford, MD of 3WhiteHats, said: “The chance to join Clarity on its rocketship growth trajectory was an opportunity not to be missed. We’re equally obsessed with harnessing data and analytics to drive high-impact, omnichannel campaigns that deliver measurable results, so our agencies are a perfect match. Given the strong cultural alignment between the two agencies, 3WhiteHats being named among Campaign’s Top 5 Places To Work in 2020, the acquisition will also create plenty of opportunities for our people to enjoy working on creative, meaningful projects with likeminded people. Not to mention, we’re looking forward to hosting them in Cornwall and showing off all that the coast has to offer!”

On the prospect of more acquisitions, a Clarity spokesperson said: "We plan to continue making acquisitions that support the key pillars of our growth strategy including new geographic markets, new products and capabilities, and new industry sectors. We’re in active conversations with several agencies that will help accelerate our progress on some or all of these growth areas, and who are closely aligned with us in terms of their vision, values, and culture."

The price and terms of the 3WhiteHats deal have not been disclosed.

Clarity was named Specialist Consultancy of the Year at the 2020 PRWeek UK Awards. Global revenue rose 47 per cent to $9m in 2020, according to PRWeek's Agency Business Report 2021. It has offices in the UK, the Netherlands, and three in the US (New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles).

Clarity's London office near Old Street is currently undergoing a renovation. Teams from both Clarity and 3WhiteHats will have the option to work from there and the Falmouth hub, offering a "hybrid of a city and coastal lifestyle once travel is allowed again".

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