Media Zoo makes digital agency acquisition

Creative agency Media Zoo is set to integrate AR, VR and web3 comms expertise into its offering, after buying digital agency Finer Vision in a multi-million pound deal.

Media Zoo co-chief executives Rachel Pendered and Mark Killick

The 100 per cent acquisition increases Media Zoo’s headcount from 170 to 184 people.

Media Zoo has already worked closely with Finer Vision over the past year, collaborating to offer an expanded suite of creative, digital and learning services.

Finer Vision's clients include Blue Chip companies in the consumer, pharma, and financial sectors, having a particularly close relationship with tech giant Meta for whom it runs training in the Metaverse.

Media Zoo chief executive Rachel Pendered said: “Finer Vision’s market-leading digital offering, brilliant management team and strong financial performance fits perfectly into our future vision for Media Zoo.”

“As an agency, we believe our video offering is best in class, and that’s our USP. We now have a digital offer, the like of which I’ve never seen before,” Pendered told PRWeek. “We think it will revolutionise certain things we do as an agency.”

Sean Cowden, director at Finer Vision, said: “We know we’ll fit seamlessly into how they operate, without changing the way we work with our existing clients.”

Growth plan

The deal comes as part of Media Zoo’s global growth plan, after it sold a minority stake to Business Growth Fund in hopes of doubling in size over the next three years.

The agency said it is "well-financed" and wishes to make further majority acquisitions, already being in discussions with multiple businesses and expecting to complete another deal within the next nine months.

“We’re actively on the lookout for more companies, led by inspiring people, that do things we don’t already do,” said Pendered. “We are especially interested in companies with an ‘attract, train, deploy’ model and both learning and digital businesses here and in the US.”

Media Zoo continues to expand internationally, having announced new offices in New York, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi In July. Alongside this news, it named Giles Smith as managing director, with founders Pendered and Mark Killick becoming co-chief executives.

The agency wishes particularly to acquire firms in the “specialist digital learning sector”, with Pendered saying: "We all know that there is a digital skills crisis, and we want to be part of the solution.”

Media Zoo's focus on digital skills is also demonstrated in its 'Zooniversity' 12-week training programme in Scotland, from which the first group of young talent graduated today, heading straight into working on Media Zoo client accounts.

“There is still a war for talent, and if we want young people with the best digital skills, we are finding that is something we have to help them with ourselves,” said Pendered.

This article was updated on Thursday afternoon to include additional information and comments from Rachel Pendered.

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