Union Digital joins DT just weeks after AKQA partnership

Designworks Group’s full service digital agency Union Digital is set to merge with WPP AUNZ’s digital brand DT, two weeks after DT announced a partnership with global digital agency AKQA.

As part of the deal, New Zealand’s Union Digital will adopt the DT brand and offer its clients access to marketing capabilities on platforms including Adobe, Sitecore and Kentico.

While DT and Union Digital have collaborated across pitches and projects for the past year, Union Digital will now have full access to DT’s IP, analytics capability and 250 employees across Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore.

Sven Baker, group chairman of Designworks and WPP AUNZ’s New Zealand country manager said DT’s offering and new AKQA partnership will “bring a raft of exciting new benefits to clients, staff and partners in New Zealand”.

“This move brings together two well-established and successful businesses and provides an ideal opportunity to build on the impressive double-digit growth Union has achieved since joining the group in 2015,” Baker said.

The new team (L-R): Damien Brown, Brian Vella, Richard Wright, Sven Baker, Matt Townsend

“The two agencies are very compatible, work well together and have already proven the strength of the partnership, so formalising the relationship and trading under the DT brand is the logical next step,” he added.

Brian Vella, CEO of DT said the decision was a “natural fit”.

“DT brings 20 years of IP to the table, with Union and Designworks bringing great local presence and reputation,” he said in a statement.

“We know NZ clients are demanding more powerful marketing technologies, personalised engagement and richer brand experiences. Together we’ll be in an even stronger position to deliver this.”

As part of the merger, DT’s Damien Brown will relocate to Auckland as incoming managing director, while Matt Townsend and Richard Wright will focus on leading the agency’s strategy and technology optimisation offerings.

Vella will work with DT management in New Zealand and Baker will continue in his role as chairman.

While DT will rebrand under its new AKQA partnership in the future, Vella said there was “no definitive timeframe” for the name change, and that Union Digital would operate under the DT brand in Australia and New Zealand.


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