Tag is the creative production division of what was formerly the corporate outsourcing giant WilliamsLeaTag. The business has undergone a succession of restructurings since 2010, most recently the re-separation of Williams Lea and Tag into two separate units. Though Tag actually now derives the largest share of its revenues directly from marketer clients, it is still perhaps best-known within the industry as a creative services supplier, handling sub-contracted digital production, design and publishing, and local adaptation and "versioning" on behalf of other agencies, especially smaller independents without their own inhouse resources or international agencies without local representation. It's now a very substantial operation, claiming a network covering 195 cities in 40 countries. It was established in 1998 following the buyout of print-production company Adplates by its former manager Steve Parish, who converted the old-style repro business into a new media pioneer, adding digital production and visual effects services to the product mix. The company name of The Adplates Group was abbreviated to Tag. Parish and business partner Richard Jameson left the business at the end of 2012 following its sale to corporate outsourcing giant Williams Lea (or Wertheimer Lea as it was originally), itself then a division of Deutsche Post DHL. The business widened its offering through acquisitions including production companies Smoke & Mirrors and Big Buoy and translation specialist World Writers, all of which continue to operate as standalone entities under the group umbrella. Tag was merged in 2014 with Williams Lea to create a single business. In 2017, WilliamsLeaTag became independent once more following a buyout from DHL by private equity firm Advent International. David Kassler was appointed as CEO at the end of that year. Combined revenues were €1.0bn in 2018; marketing services accounted for €575m. Further marketing-related acquisitions included CGI specialist Taylor James, content agency THP and Australian shopper marketing agency Popcorn. In a 2019 restructuring the Tag and Williams Lea brands were re-established as separate divisions, with Tag taking responsibility for all marketing-related production services. Kassler continues to lead that business.
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Capsule checked 22nd January 2020
Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Daily Update 2nd Apr 2019: Another change of strategy at Williams Lea Tag. Five years on from the corporate merger with Williams Lea, the company is to split out two separate operating divisions, with Tag re-established as a dedicated marketing production services specialist. Williams Lea, on the other hand, will focus on business support for financial, legal and professional services firms. WLT Group CEO David Kassler will also head up Tag, while Clare Hart was named as CEO of Williams Lea.
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