VCCP Acquires Muhtayzik Hoffer to Build a Challenger Network

Next Steps Are a NY Office Then Latin America and Asia

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Matt Hofherr, Stephanie Brimacombe, John Matejczyk, Adrian Coleman
Matt Hofherr, Stephanie Brimacombe, John Matejczyk, Adrian Coleman Credit: Courtesy of VCCP

U.K. agency VCCP has acquired San Francisco-based Muhtayzik Hoffer in a deal designed to create a new global challenger network, starting with the opening of a New York office this summer.

Plans to open in Latin America in the next year and then somewhere in Asia are also underway, as the combined operation attempts to build on VCCP's existing presence in Berlin, Madrid, Prague and Sydney, as well as London, where the agency is the sixth biggest in the U.K. according to Nielsen figures.

Matt Hofherr, co-founder and director of strategy at Muhtayzik Hoffer, stressed that the agency will continue to build up its San Francisco offering. He said, "We are all doers. We all have our hands in the work – not because we are control freaks, but because we are passionate about the quality."

Muhtayzik Hoffer – Ad Age's Small Agency of the Year in 2014 and a 2015 Agency to Watch – was founded in 2010. In the past year the agency has doubled staff from 40 to 85 and increased revenue from $9 million to $17 million. Clients include Audi, Netflix and SoFi.

See recent work by Muhtayzik Hoffer featured on Ad Age's Creativity for Method here, for Audi A4's "Wi-Fi Jack" of the New York Auto Show here, and for Netflix here.

VCCP opened in 2002 and is part of Chime Communications, which last year was taken private by Providence Equity Partners, which owns around 80% of the group. WPP owns the other 20%. Adrian Coleman, co-founder and CEO of VCCP, said, "We have big ambitions, and now we are in private hands we can move a lot faster."

The New York office will open in late August or early September under the name Muhtayzik Hoffer, with about ten staff initially. Mr. Coleman said, "Muhtayzik Hoffer is a great brand here already and we'd be crazy to throw that away." The founders of both agencies plan to travel frequently rather than relocate.

The partners, and VCCP group chief marketing officer Stephanie Brimacombe, are in conversation with some of their existing clients about working with the New York office, as well as looking at new opportunities. Muhtayzik Hoffer already works with New York-based kitchen appliance and home utensil maker OXO.

John Matejczyk, co-founder and executive creative director of Muhtayzik Hoffer, said, "We had international ambitions and we were approached by the big networks, but they weren't interesting to us. When [VCCP] came over, we saw a way to do it that really lets us unleash our creativity on business problems."

Mr. Coleman added, "We are a challenger network for challenger clients. We create brave work, which will make us a credible alternative to the rather conservative, staid, dull networks."

VCCP's clients include BMW Motorcycles, Molson Coors, and EasyJet, as well as telecoms company O2, owned by Telefonica. The agency is best known in the U.K. for its "Compare the Meerkat" campaign for insurance aggregator, which has become a prominent part of British popular culture over the last seven years.

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