McGarryBowen Buys Achtung in Amsterdam

Dentsu-owned U.S. Network Now Has Three Creative Hubs in Europe

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Vodafone 'Hipster Grill'
Vodafone 'Hipster Grill' Credit: Achtung!

McGarryBowen has opened a third creative hub in Europe with the acquisition of Amsterdam creative agency Achtung!, just two months after the launch of a Paris office.

Parent company Dentsu Aegis Network will rebrand Achtung as McGarryBowen Amsterdam internationally, but will retain the original name in the Netherlands.

The agency, founded ten years ago, has a staff of about 40 people and works with a mix of global and Dutch brands, including Vodafone, Philips, Heineken, Volkswagen and Google.

In December, Dentsu Aegis Network bought Paris agency Same Same But Different, which specializes in luxury and premium clients.

Gordon Bowen, founder and global chairman of McGarryBowen, said in a statement, "When we met the Achtung team there was an immediate connection with similar views on culture, innovation and creativity ... Europe is a very important market for us and our clients. We are focused on building out our network around the world's great creative talent hubs. Today we are excited to welcome Achtung in Amsterdam as our newest family member and look forward to bringing more creative firepower in Europe to our clients. Stay tuned."

Creative work by Achtung featured on Ad Age's Creativity recently includes a VW stroller with automatic braking from a branding campaign in which parents expect all their household products to have the same useful features as their VW. And Achtung knows how to have fun: to motivate clients to make a generous donation to a children's charity during the holidays a couple years ago, Achtung did an ominous video warning that the giver of the smallest donation would receive a visit from a hulking 260-pound reindeer named Rudolph.

The McGarryBowen network's first office in Europe opened in London in 2012. In addition to London, Paris and Amsterdam, the network also includes Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo, in addition to its U.S. offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and San Antonio.

Asked about further expansion, a spokeswoman for the Dentsu Aegis Network in the Netherlands, said in an email: "At the moment we are not informed about expanding McGarryBowen in other European cities."

Dick Buschman, founder of Achtung, said in a statement, "It's a great time for creativity. The boundaries between advertising and content, branding and commerce, and media and technology are blurring and our clients increasingly ask for integrated communications and design solutions suited for the digital age."

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