Nunn Media acquires Alley, labels it ‘biggest indie acquisition of the year’

Indepenedent media agency Nunn Media has acquired perfomance agency Alley in a deal which Matt Nunn said offers his agency digital capabilities “all our competitors from an independent point of view, do not have”.

Nunn called the purchase of the “highly successful business” the “biggest indie acquisition of the year.” Mumbrella Award-winning Alley was founded by Nick Lavidge with clients the likes of YouFoodz, Tinder, Reece, Netgear and more.

Alley began in 2014 and now has more than 50 staff across both Sydney and Los Angeles. It was also the recipient of two awards at the 2018 Mumbrella Awards for Specialist Agency of the Year and Data Driven Marketing.

Nunn Media’s Matt Nunn

Alley Australia will be folded into Nunn Media’s Sydney operations while continuing to operate as Alley, retaining its current clients.

Nunn also confirmed that the Nunn Media name would not be expanding into the US market, where the business will also remain Alley, but Nunn said the intention is to grow the business “significantly” there.

“It’s not the main core of the business at this point, we see that as a real opportunity. But really the Sydney market we believe will be a massive opportunity for us. It’s the new Nunn Media in Sydney,” said Nunn.

One of Australia’s highest billing independent media agencies, Nunn Media reports “more than $330 million” from clients including Bendigo Bank, JB HiFi, Haval, 13CABS, American Tourister, Godfreys, Amart and Amcal.

On Alley’s founder and CEO, Lavidge, Nunn said “having been a global CMO across many digital brands, he went into the agency side of things around six years ago, and from a CMO standpoint I think he was very frustrated with what agencies were delivering, given he saw it from that side of the fence. So all those frustrations all brought out in the characteristics of this agency, which is highly successful.”

Nunn also said his agency had been actively looking for acquisitions in the digital space in both Sydney and Melbourne, having previously acquired businesses Kruse Media Services, akamedia and Innovate Online, and this move came about through Nunn’s connection to global independent agency network Local Planet, which he sits on the board of.

Buying into the Local Planet network three years ago aligns Nunn Media with agenices such as Horizon in the US and its clients which include Peloton, Squarespace and Smiles Direct.

Adding Alley’s capabilities in search, social, programmatic, e-commerce and digital creative to Nunn Media’s existing offering now makes the agency “fully integrated across all aspects of Media, following the path to purchase,” according to Nunn. “We go from TV ads to the conversion.”

Alley’s Nick Lavidge

“Having said that, in the last 12 months we would be in the top two agencies, as far as new business goes. From our point of view, this is a massive move for us, I don’t think people understand the scale of Alley.”

Lavidge added that ““Our success in using performance marketing to drive financial outcomes for our clients has grown Alley at exponential rates. As we continue to mature, we realise that our blue-chip e-commerce and performance clients could benefit from a broader media mix, outside digital performance media, where we have traditionally excelled.”

“Working together with the Nunn team, we clearly saw the synergies between the two agencies that could provide even more value to our existing and future clients. Additionally, we were drawn to their history, culture and clear articulation of their strategy and vision which closely aligned to ours. We are thrilled to enter into the next phase of the Alley journey with Nunn Media.”

In July, Nunn Media appointed Jennifer Olmi to the newly created role of digital director in Sydney. The appointment came soon after the agency was awarded the Phillips Water portfolio

For a deep dive on this topic, it was discussed on the Mumbrellacast.



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