McCann Dublin and digital agency Blue Cube are to merge their respective operations to create a new agency which will be called McCann Blue.
Merger talks between the two agencies have been ongoing for eight months and under the new structure Orlaith Blaney of McCann Dublin will take over as the new CEO while Sébastien Sicot, Blue Cube’s MD will become digital director. The newly created entity will have a staff of over 40 and will be headquartered in Blue Cube’s Grand Canal Dock offices.
Blue Cube, which was set up in 2004, is part of the Belfast-based AV Browne Group of agencies. One of the top digital agencies in the country, its client list includes the likes of Aer Lingus, Donegal Creameries, the National Lottery, Meteor, Bewley’s and XS Direct. For its part, McCann Dublin’s clients include Bord Bia, Deep River Rock, Microsoft, SafeFood, Kerry Foods, Purina, Nestle Cereals, Tayto, the HSE, Subway and Dundrum Town Centre.
Following the merger of the two agencies, AV Browne will become the largest shareholder in McCann Blue while both Blaney and Sicot will also be substantial shareholders. The IPG-owned McCann will also retain a minority shareholding as part of the agency’s affiliate arrangement with the US multinational. AV Browne, meanwhile, will retain it own seperate identity.
According to Orlaith Blaney, “this is without doubt one of the most exciting business opportunities we’ve had in the last 20 years. An opportunity for both McCann and Blue Cube to continue to deliver strategic communications excellence for fantastic clients. The Irish market is chock-a-block with both local and network agencies just adding on digital ideas to the end of campaigns or some stand-alone digital shops who don’t get the opportunity to really work on the bigger client strategies. We see a real opportunity to transform and change that for our clients by giving them a powerful new agency solution to help them to deliver in a tough economic environment. We will now have some serious talent and specialist digital expertise at Blue Cube combined with award winning strategic and creative talent at McCann and the truth is, we can’t wait to get going. Sébastien Sicot is one of the most experienced and talented digital experts in the Irish market and we’re both looking forward to leading and creating change’
Sébastien Sicot adds, “Over the last decade our world has been transformed, the way we communicate, how we live our lives and our society. Digital is now the biggest agent of change in our world and simultaneously the biggest agent of differentiation for business. No surprises then that advertising has had to change, and planning has had to evolve. Our world has changed to ‘always on’ connections and stories must now be told differently. Our new venture is bringing all of the best talent together under one roof to make the experience richer and deeper for our clients and their customers”.
The new agency, according to Blaney, “will provide a richer and more immersive suite of brand and campaign services tailored directly to our clients needs and based on a unique planning and creative platform developed over the last six months. We will collaboratively build on the powerful ‘Truth Well Told” McCann vision by delivering business solutions that integrate fully into consumers ‘always-on’ lives.”
Julian Ingram, EVP McCann WorldGroup says of the merger, “This an exciting opportunity for McCann to meet the growing need from our clients to deliver a more integrated service and provide a more attractive business for new local talent. The merger creates a stronger more relevant brand in the Irish market, with strong digital capabilities at the centre of the offer. As Dublin grows as a technology and innovation hub for Europe, McCannBlue and its breadth of talent will make us even more relevant and competitive in the regional marketplace”.
Despite the new entity already having over 40 staff, their plans are still for growth. “There are still some pieces of our jigsaw missing, so we’ll be recruiting more talent over the coming months to complete our new team” says Orlaith. “We’ve a vision for the future that includes one culture of openness, creativity and innovation, focused on the best way to connect our clients brands with their consumer”.