Dentsu Aegis Network acquires Soap Creative as Ash Hopper departs for Lowe Profero

Ringrose and Eldridge

Ringrose and Eldridge

Dentsu Aegis Network has continued its acquisition spree buying up independent digital agency Soap Creative, with the agency to become a company within Dentsu’s global digital marketing agency Isobar.

Soap will be renamed as ‘Soap – Linked by Isobar’, with the agency’s founders Ashley Ringrose and Bradley Eldridge to remain with the business. SMG will also operate within Isobar.

Ringrose and Eldridge will report to Konrad Spilva, Isobar managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

The acquisition follows on from the network buying a 51 per cent stake in creative agency BWM earlier this month.

Luke Littlefield, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Australia & New Zealand, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Soap team to our Group. The acquisition supports our strategic development, adding scale and size to our digital capabilities and allowing us to further diversify our offering in the digital creative space for our clients.

“Culturally, Soap is a great fit for us. I look forward to bringing new thinking and expertise to our network and providing Soap and its clients with access to our global resources, skills and knowledge.”

The deal does not include Soap’s US offices.

Soap clients include Barangaroo, Destination NSW, Lorna Jane and Toyota which is also a client of fellow Dentsu creative agency Oddfellows Dentsu, which the network acquired in January last year.

On the decision to join the network Ringrose said: “After almost 13 years, we were looking at ways we could further continue to evolve and improve our offer for clients. We wanted to join people who had the same entrepreneurial spirit and focus on innovation as us. Dentsu Aegis Network’s various agency businesses, and the opportunity to work closely together with them, was also instrumental in the decision. I can’t wait to see this partnership roll out in 2015 and beyond.”

Isobar Australia clients include Australia Post, JB Hi-Fi, Garnier and Foxtel.

Konrad Spilva, managing director of Isobar in Australia & New Zealand, said: “There are fantastic synergies between the work that Soap does and the capabilities that we have within Isobar. I’ve great respect and admiration for the Soap team and look forward to working closely with them moving forward.”

Bentley and Hopper

Bentley and Hopper

The news comes as former Soap executive creative director and JWT Australia digital creative Ash Hopper joins Lowe Profero Sydney as ECD, replacing Matt Delprado who has left to pursue his own business venture, outside of the agency world.

Dave Bentley, managing director of the Australian arm of the digital agency, which was bought out last year by the Lowe network, said in a statement: “Ash is a world class talent and I’m ecstatic that he’s joining our team. Not only is he an exceptional creative leader, he is also a very strong strategic thinker.

“These qualities make him particularly potent in developing world-class creative solutions regardless of whether it’s an advertising campaign or a platform build. Like Lowe Profero, he’s passionate about the importance of combining media, creative and technology to create holistic and unique solutions that more effectively solve client communication and business challenges.

“With Ash’s creative pedigree combined with our depth and experience in our technology and media offering, I couldn’t be more excited about our ability to create ground breaking and effective solutions for our clients,” he added.”

Hopper began his career leading digital agency Hyro in 2000.

On his appointment he said: “Lowe Profero’s incredible success, and its collaborative consultancy approach with clients is reflected through its strength and growth across Australia and Asia.

“Dave Bentley and Lowe Profero founder Wayne Arnold are passionate leaders and it was clear we shared a common vision. I look forward to working with the teams in Sydney and across Asia Pacific to develop the agency’s capabilities and credentials,”

The appointment follows the agency picking up Mexican food chain Guzman Y Gomez.

Miranda Ward


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