New York's Deep Focus, London's Jam Gain a Sibling Agency in China

Holding company's purchase of a Shanghai-based digital creative agency, FlipScript, helps Deep Focus reach into China.

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New York-based digital and social media agency Deep Focus has just gained a partner in China.

Part of a website FlipScript built to promote Nov. 11 sales in China
Part of a website FlipScript built to promote Nov. 11 sales in China

Engine, a privately owned U.K. communications group, said Wednesday it is buying Flipscript China, a Shanghai-based digital creative agency with clients including Starbucks, Crocs, New Balance, Kate Spade New York and Tourism Australia.

The move creates a digital and social micro-network that includes FlipScript and two other Engine agencies, New York's Deep Focus and London's Jam.

The purchase comes as holding companies are snapping up independent Chinese digital agencies. Earlier this month, Young & Rubicam's VML purchased Chinese agency IM2.0.

FlipScript, to be renamed Deep Focus/FlipScript, has 52 employees. Its founders, Alpha Xu and Wong Kian Fong, will stay on board.

FlipScript's campaigns include a shopping teaser site for Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba that drew 200 million unique visitors ahead of China's massive annual Nov. 11 e-commerce bonanza last year. For Crocs, FlipScript recently built an educational iPad app for children in Asia.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Engine now has 270 employees in London, New York, Saint Louis and Shanghai.

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