Next 15 is the umbrella for a group of separately branded PR and integrated agencies including the corporate communications specialist now known as Archetype, consumer PR shop M Booth, B2B agency Publitek and branding & strategy advisor OutCast. The group has been an avid acquiror of smaller agencies in recent years, some of which have been absorbed into existing brands, while others remains as standalone businesses. Notable recent purchases have included creative agency ODD in 2015, and integrated agency Elvis in 2017, both based in the UK. Other deals include Activate, Technical Associates, Brandwidth and Planning Inc. In 2020, the group acquired ecommerce agency Shopper Media. In early 2022, Next 15 agreed to acquire UK rival Engine Group for a reported £77.5m. Until recently Next 15 was best-known for its separate technology PR networks Text 100 and Bite. However, these were combined in 2019 to form Archetype. Next 15 now has more than 50 offices in 14 countries, although the bulk of its revenues are derived in North America and, to a lesser extent, the UK. Text 100, founded in the UK in the 1980s, was the original core of the business, and the group expanded rapidly during the 2000s through acquisitions of additional agencies. Net revenues for the year ending Jan 2021 were £267m, of which more than two-thirds was generated by technology clients. Net profit was £38m. Industry watcher PRovoke estimated fee income for Archetype of $56m in 2020 and $43m for M Booth. Despite its smaller size the latter, acquired from founder Margi Booth in 2009, tends to outperform its sibling in terms of awards. It was named as both Specialist Agency of the Year and Consumer Agency of the Year 2019 in Holmes Report's SABRE Awards North America, beating much larger rivals including Edelman and Cohn & Wolfe. In 2020 it was selected as one of PRovoke's seven Agencies of the Decade. Tim Dyson has been group CEO for more than 25 years.
Capsule checked 9th August 2021
Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets.
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Adbrands Update 20th Jun 2022: The battle for M&C Saatchi took a new turn after the agency's board withdrew its recommendation of Next 15's takeover. The latter's share price has dropped by more than a quarter as a result of investor concerns combined with global turmoil in the markets, significantly reducing the value of its original offer for M&C. This was worth around 247p per share a month ago, but the decline in Next 15's own share price has reduced this to around 189p per share.
Adbrands Update 20th May 2022: In an extraordinary development, M&C Saatchi has agreed a sale to UK marketing group Next 15 for £310m, trumping Vin Mriia's AdvancedAdvT. If the deal is completed, it will represent a spectacular new expansion for Next 15, which has only recently completed its acquisition of Engine UK.
Adbrands Update 2nd Mar 2022: It's a deal: Lake Capital has agreed to sell the UK operations of Engine Group to Next 15. The deal is reported to be worth £77.5m, significantly less than the £100m Lake paid for the business in 2014. It's understood that all the UK operations will be acquired, rather than be broken up as had previously been suggested. The main Engine Creative division will merge with Next 15's ODD agaency, under the latter's CEO Phil Fearnley. Other units are expected to retain their current identity, for the time being at least.
Adbrands Update 21st Feb 2022: PR and corporate communications group Next 15 has confirmed it is in talks to acquire the UK operations of Engine, which has been put up for sale by its private equity owners. No further details were disclosed. Next 15 warned that there was no certainty that a deal would materialise.
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Sep 2018: Two more agency brands are being consigned to the scrapheap. Text100 and Bite - the main technology-focused PR networks within marketing services group Next 15 - are to be merged globally under an as yet unconfirmed new name following the departure of Text100's long-serving CEO Aedhmar Hynes. Helena Maus, CEO of much smaller Bite, will lead the combined agency. Text100 lost two of its biggest global clients, IBM and Lenovo, last year. The Holmes Report estimated fee income of $65m, putting the agency among the Top 30 PR networks globally. [Updated: The name of the merged agency was confirmed in Feb 2019 as Archetype.]
Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Sep 2017: London-based integrated agency Elvis - orphaned by the break-up of Canadian-owned marketing group Vision7 in 2014 - has finally found an owner. It has been acquired from private equity firm Mill Road Capital by marketing services group Next 15, best-known as the parent to global PR agencies Text 100, Lexis and Bite. However, the group has also been adding a series of other creative and CRM agencies over the years, including Story Worldwide and ODD. The purchase price was £5m plus an additional earn-out of up to £500k.
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Dec 2015: Marketing services group Next 15 - best known for its technology PR network Text 100 and consumer PR shops Lexis and M Booth - has taken another step into creative advertising with the acquisition of London agency ODD.
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