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M&C Saatchi buys media agency Bohemia

M&C Saatchi has acquired media agency Bohemia in a move aimed at giving the creative agency a foothold in the media space.

bohemia-logo

The creative agency has harboured ambitions to launch a media arm for several years, spending big money to bolster its strategy team, led by Justin Graham.

It threw its hat into the ring for the Commonwealth Bank media account in 2014 when that came up for pitch, with the agency already holding the creative element of that account.

Jaimes Leggett, M&C Saatchi Group CEO, said in a statement: “Every business in every market is being disrupted. Ours is no different. Bringing media into the Group is the next step in our evolution. With Bohemia in the family, we will have the capability to marry content with context for more influential communications. Driving creative probability through increased media precision.

“M&C Saatchi is a confederation of creative entrepreneurs. With best-in-class capabilities, designed to connect with a consumer at every point they encounter a brand. We chose Bohemia for their rebellious spirit and desire to be transformative and transparent. They’re a great bunch of people, too.”

Globally M&C Saatchi, which is also independent, has dabbled with media assets, buying London shop Walker Media in 2012. However, that was sold to Publicis Groupe in 2014 and has since rebranded as part of the Blue 449 network.

Bohemia was started in 2011 by former Ikon stalwarts Brett Dawson, Chris Christoffi and Peter Leaver, and cut a swathe through the media agency landscape, winning a slew of big accounts including QSRH, owners of Red Rooster, and Vodafone strategy without a pitch.

Brett Dawson, CEO at Bohemia, said: “We are incredibly excited by the opportunity to join M&C Saatchi. We admire their creative ambition, share their values and like the way they do business. As technology continues to disrupt the media operating system, creativity in all its forms will become even more influential in driving client growth.

“This partnership brings significant benefit to our staff and clients, and will allow us to shortcut and lead the transparency agenda. It will enable our Bohemian spirit to play out on a bigger stage.”

Bohemia founder Chris Christofi, Brett Dawson, Peter Leaver

Bohemia founder Chris Christofi, Brett Dawson, Peter Leaver

More success followed, with Lion moving its media business to the group in 2014, and the rest of the Vodafone account moving to the agency from Ikon in 2013.

However, both clients have subsequently parted ways with the agency, while QSRH also moved its account in December 2016.

Streaming service Pandora is also pitching its media account; however, Bohemia has not confirmed if it is participating in the pitch.

While independent, STW Communications had a small stake in the group which passed to WPP when the two holding companies merged last year.

Bohemia’s clients include Ubank, Unibet, Caltex, Twitter and News.com.au.

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