Connelly Partners, the full-service independent digital agency with offices in Dublin, Boston and Vancouver, has acquired ZOO Digital for an undisclosed sum.
ZOO Digital was set up in 2008 by Colin Hetherington, the agency’s managing director, Chris Preston, creative director and Martin Byrne, technical director. Clients of the agency include international brands like Burger King, Red Bull and Hansard Global as well as a number of Irish brands including Electric Ireland, Glanbia’s MyMilkMan.ie, National Lottery and The Abbey Theatre.
The acquisition will see Connelly’s Irish presence grow to 45 staff with plans to grow this again by 20% in 2022.
The deal comes on the back of strong expansion by Connelly Partners, which recently acquired Canadian global content agency VRX Studios and launched its Connelly Partners Health division to the US market. Later this year, it also plans to roll out a media and analytics offering to its Irish clients, according to the agency.
ZOO Digital will operate as a sister agency to Connelly Partners, retaining its own identity but sharing offices with it.
“It is not in our DNA to ever be satisfied with who we are and what we do. We are in constant pursuit of better, always looking for ways to best serve our clients,” says Steve Connelly, president of Connelly Partners.
“In order to do that, we’ve got to have the best people and skill sets to drive that commercial success for clients, in such a competitive environment,” said Steve Connelly, President and Copywriter, Connelly Partners.
“With ZOO we found kindred spirits in our respect for how humans make decisions and consume digital content. More importantly we found impressive skills, experience, and the kind of ego-free talent that clients crave and we are always searching for,” he adds.
“This deal is really all about growth – to be able to offer our clients even more and to enable our team to work more globally,” says Colin Hetherington, managing director of ZOO Digital.
“It’s been really interesting getting to know Steve and the Connelly Partner team over the last number of months – a key moment in our discussions came when Steve mentioned how it’s all about integrity, followed by great advertising. That’s something we really believe in here at ZOO. It’s going to be fun to work with kindred spirits.”
Connelly Partners recently announced a new senior leadership team in Dublin comprising Vaunnie McDermott, client service and business director; Mary McMahon, strategy director and Ronan Doyle, art and creative director. Clients of Connelly Partners include 123.ie, Shannon Airport, Audi Ireland, Gaelic Players Association, Defiant Water, Barnardos and University of Limerick. More recently it retained the Bus Eireann/Expressway account.