Interpublic agency DraftFCB will acquire London-based digital agency Blue Barracuda. The new entity will be called DraftFCB London "Fuelled By Blue Barracuda." Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Blue Barracuda's 60 employees will be immediately merged with Draft's London office, increasing headcount 50% at the agency. Blue's management team will also be integrated, with former CEO Martin Talks becoming Draft, London's president of digital. The office will serve as the digital hub for Draft's agency network in Europe.
Blue Barracuda, founded in 2002, handles digital strategy and media buying and planning for clients such as Pizza Hut, Getty Images and Roche Pharmaceuticals. Draft also gains access to Blue Barracuda's offshore-production unit in Tallinn, Estonia.
"In the five years since DraftFCB was created, we have been focused on building our fully integrated model, which means one P&L, no silos. ... Rather than infighting over budgets, our employees are able to put our clients and their brands at the center of all we do. Now we are committed to further enhancing our capabilities," said Laurence Boschetto, worldwide CEO-president for DraftFCB.
While London in particular has been a recent hotbed for boutique creative shops, it has not seen as much mergers-and-acquisition activity as other markets. In recent years, the Big Four companies have snapped up agencies in emerging markets like China and Brazil. Meanwhile, London-based independents like Engine and LBi have set sights on growing stateside footprints with recent acquisitions in the U.S..