Advantage Marketing Partners (US)

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Advantage Marketing Partners is a major US-based shopper and field marketing group, comprising a collection of 16 separately branded acquired agencies operating under a shared umbrella. Agencies within Advantage include multicultural events marketer Eventus, promotional specialists Amp Agency and Upshot, and product developer and designer Hatch, among others. IN Marketing Services was spun out as a standalone unit in 2000; it now operates under the banner of IN Connected Services. It continues to expand through acquisitions: new parent marketer Bump Club & Beyond and strategy consultancy Halverson Group joined the group in 2019, followed by integrated agency SixSpeed in 2020. Parent company Advantage Solutions offers an even broader range of services to retailers across all channels, assisting with category management, outsourcing, data analytics, business intelligence and merchandising services, with more than 120 offices across the country, at least one in virtually every US state. Other group units offer in-store advertising systems and sampling programmes. The group was founded in 1987 as a food broker by Sonny King, then an executive at Vons supermarkets. It has gradually expanded both its range of services and its national footprint through close to 100 separate acquisitions in 30 years. Some agencies have retained separate branding, others were absorbed into the core business. King retired in 2021. Tanya Domier is group CEO. Jill Griffin is president of Advantage Marketing Partners and group chief commercial officer. A succession of different private equity firms have controlled the majority shareholding in the group since the early 2000s. Leonard Green & Associates and CVC Capital Partners jointly acquired control of the business in 2014 from Apax Partners. In 2020, Advantage Solutions was merged into an acquisition vehicle which then issued an IPO of group equity. Sales were impacted significantly by retail closures during the Covid pandemic, with revenues slipping from almost $3.8bn in 2019 to $3.2bn for 2020. Net loss owas $162m. Marketing services accounted for a third of revenues, or $1.1bn (from $1.8bn the year before). AdAge listed Advantage Marketing Partners as the biggest US experiential and promotional marketing agency for the 8th consecutive year.

Capsule checked 24th February 2022

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