Brunswick to integrate services with creative comms agency MerchantCantos

Brunswick has announced a move to more closely integrate with MerchantCantos, its subsidiary creative comms agency.

Brunswick CEO Neal Wolin: 'This is a natural evolution for our firm'
Brunswick CEO Neal Wolin: 'This is a natural evolution for our firm'

Brunswick and MerchantCantos’ strategic planning, creative and production capabilities are to merge from 1 January to form Brunswick Creative Campaigns and Content.

The group said there will be a single, unified digital team and proposition - "integrating our existing Brunswick and MerchantCantos teams to deliver the full range of digital strategy and execution for our clients' most critical challenges". ESG and employee engagement propositions will also be "aligned".

Brunswick said the move "reflects the increasing demand from clients for integrated strategic advisory and creative capability".

MerchantCantos employs around 150 people in London, New York, San Francisco, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and Singapore and specialises in branding, employee engagement, investor communications and sustainability. It was created over 10 years ago from the merger of Merchant, the annual reporting specialist, and Cantos, a specialist in the use of video in investor relations.

Brunswick CEO Neal Wolin said: “This is a natural evolution for our firm. Brunswick and MerchantCantos have always worked closely together. Elevating the strategic value of our creative capability and combining our digital expertise will enable us to bring more ambitious ideas and, ultimately, even more value to our clients.”

Matt Shepherd Smith, CEO of MerchantCantos, said: “Every business now operates in a digital world and the importance of strategic and creative communications is only growing. By becoming one brand, we are responding to increasing demand from our clients for integrated strategic advisory and world-class creative capability.”

The move follows fresh investment in Brunswick. In June, the firm announced it had agreed to sell a 10.7 per cent stake to US merchant bank BDT Capital Partners, valuing the business at around £500m.

That was the first time the group had taken external investment since it was founded in 1987.

Brunswick is the 10th biggest comms consultancy in the world, according to the PRWeek Agency Business Report, generating $322m in revenue in 2020 with a headcount of 1,015 at the year-end. In the UK, it leapfrogged Edelman to top the PRWeek UK Top 150 Consultancies table this year as revenue grew one per cent in 2020 to £66.7m.

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