Draftfcb buys London digital shop Blue Barracuda

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Draftfcb has acquired London-based digital agency Blue Barracuda. Draftfcb will incorporate Blue Barracuda's 60-person staff into its London office and rebrand the combined agency as Draftfcb London: Fuelled by Blue Barracuda.

“We started looking at a number of agencies,” said Kate Howe, president of Draftfcb London. “The more time we spent with Blue Barracuda, the more there was a creative meeting of minds and team chemistry. They had all the [digital] capabilities we wanted, but the acquisition was about more than just that.”

The deal will boost the number of employees at Draftfcb London to more than 180, and the office will serve as the digital hub for Draftfcb's European network of agencies. No layoffs will occur as a result of the deal, said Howe.

Draftfcb London has retained Martin Talks, former CEO of Blue Barracuda, as president of digital. Marcus Exall, former Blue Barracuda client services director, will serve as Draftfcb London digital director. The agency also named former Blue Barracuda planning director Nick Berry its digital planning director, and retained former managing director Adrian Nicholls as client services director.

“We were a digital pure play,” said Talks. “We're joining an agency with broader capabilities. Up until now, we've been able to deliver digital solutions, but now we can offer strategies for a digital world with integrated solutions. That positions us better moving forward.”

Talks said all Blue Barracuda clients will move with the agency to Draftfcb London. The former agency's client roster includes Pizza Hut and Getty Images.

Draftfcb is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Interpublic Group of Companies. It operates 87 global offices with more than 9,200 employees. The agency's client roster includes Beiersdorf, The Coca-Cola Co. and General Motors Co.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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