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Hidden Characters merges with M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment

M&C Saatchi Group’s sponsorship and experiential business M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment (S&E) has merged with its consumer PR business Hidden Characters, Mumbrella can reveal.

Hidden Characters will be absorbed into M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment with the agency led by M&C Saatchi S&E managing director, Jamie Gilbert Smith.

Annalise Brown, the managing director of M&C Saatchi’s PR agency Hidden Characters, has left the company as a result. Brown led Hidden Characters – which was a rebrand of M&C Saatchi’s Bang PR – in 2016.

Brown joined Hidden Characters in 2016

She was also appointed chair of the Public Relations Council earlier this year.

At the same time, Naomi Rheinberger, communications manager, has also left the business. Rheinberger joined Hidden Characters from Zomato, shortly after it rebranded, but left the company last month to join QT Hotels as its communications manager.

The remaining Hidden Characters staff will move across to the M&C Saatchi S&E offices in the coming weeks.

M&C Saatchi made its play in the PR space in 2012 when it acquired Bang PR.

Gilbert Smith said the joint offering would extend beyond the scope of both companies.

“Increasingly we’re developing campaigns that blur the lines between PR, sponsorship, social, content and experiential. By bringing these parts of the business together, we are supercharging our capabilities and reframing our offering to maintain relevance with the changing demands placed on marketers,” Gilbert Smith said in a statement.

Jaimes Leggett, CEO of M&C Saatchi Group, added: “As the marketing landscape changes, so must we. Combining the capabilities of S&E and Hidden Characters is an important strategic move for the Group giving us a more robust offering. We’re excited to see where this can take us.”

M&C Saatchi S&E’s offering will include experiential, PR and influencer engagement and sponsorship.

In the last year, M&C Saatchi has made a number of changes to its business.

Last year the advertising agency made a move in the media space by buying media agency Bohemia. In October, M&C Saatchi appointed BMF’s ECD Cam Blackley to the role of chief creative officer replacing Michael Canning.

One month ago, the company’s general manager, Mim Haysom, departed the business to join Suncorp as its executive general manager of brand and marketing.

Haysom’s role at M&C Saatchi has not yet been replaced.

M&C Saatchi S&E’s clients include Adidas, Asics, Audi, Woolworths, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, Google and IAG.

Hidden Characters’ clients included Sonos Australia, Califia Farms, Baiada, Open Colleges, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Universal Sony Home Entertainment and Crimestoppers.

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