S4 Capital's MediaMonks merges with digital agency Firewood
S4 Capital's MediaMonks is merging with Firewood, a digital marketing agency that employs about 300 people across its offices in San Francisco; Mountain View, California; Sandpoint, Idaho; New York; Dublin; and Mexico City. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2010 by husband-and-wife duo, CEO Juan Zambrano and President Lanya Zambrano, Firewood claims to be the largest independent agency in Silicon Valley. It offers strategy, creative, planning, performance media and technology services through an "embedded" model for clients, acting as extensions to their marketing teams. Its client roster includes Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Salesforce and VMware.
MediaMonks, the production company acquired by Martin Sorrell's S4 Capital last year, released a video on YouTube today announcing the merger. "Firewood's 'embedded' approach will allow us to build deeper and broader relationships with our clients," Wesley ter Haar, MediaMonks founder and chief operating officer, said in a statement.
Sorrell added in a statement that S4 Capital is now a 1,800-person entity, thanks to the deal. "This merger is a further step in creating a new-era communications services leader," Sorrell said. "Firewood has an enviable client list comprising of many of Silicon Valley's finest."
S4 Capital's mantra is "faster, better, cheaper" based on its focus on digital content, first-party data and programmatic media.
On a recent Advertising Week New York panel, Sorrell described S4 Capital as the "antichrist" to the traditional holding company. "Any [holding company] that wins the traditional media pitches, I would short their stock,” he said on the panel, claiming that the holding groups are too reliant on revenue from traditional advertising that is shrinking. “We are purely digital. That’s the only thing we’re interested in.”
"We came from the client world and had a very different and non-agency mindset," Juan Zambrano said. "From day one, we created an integrated and disruptive model built on transparency and collaboration that supported becoming extensions of our clients and something that other agencies weren't doing."
Before Firewood, Juan Zambrano spent seven years as an advisor for a Mexico City-based financial services company, Mercadotecnia Ideas y Tecnología. Lanya Zambrano was previously a senior VP at Epsilon (which was recently acquired by Publicis Groupe) and has held additional marketing positions at brands such as Gymboree and UPS.
Lanya Zambrano added in a statement that one of her focuses at Firewood has been on championing a diverse workplace. She said 38 percent of the agency's staff is ethnically diverse, 67 percent are women and the leadership team is nearly 64 percent female. "We look forward to developing further a new, disruptive model in the communications industry with MediaMonks and S4 Capital as further proof that diversity is an intrinsic part of our industry’s future," she said.