LONDON--Bite Communications is merging with Next Fifteen sibling Bourne to create a firm that it says will offer a broader range of marketing services.

Next Fifteen acquired Scottish digital firm Bourne in mid-2011. The agency will now integrate into Bite and lose its own branding.

Bourne brings nearly 50 digital marketing professionals to Bite, which is dropping 'Communications' from its moniker.

In a video interview with the Holmes Report, Bite head of innovation Justin Pearse explains why he thinks the merger will succeed where others have failed.

The move comes as Bite North America head Andy Cunningham gears up to take on the global CEO role at the firm, following the departure of Clive Armitage to launch a new research business within Next Fifteen.

"With our broader capacity, we can do a better job of helping our clients increase their marketshare, introduce new products and sell more stuff," said Cunningham. "And isn’t that what an agency should do?"

Bourne founder and MD Dan Kersh becomes MD of global marketing services at Bite, and remains based in Glasgow. He told the Holmes Report that the merger would help both firms address their key growth challenge: "evolving the operational structure".

The merger follows two years of Bite acquisitions in Asia, where the firm has bought OneXeno, ILS and the search team from Red Bricks Media (RBM). 

Kersh also noted that the integration would help brands become publishers by combining Bourne's digital capabilities and marketing savvy with Bite's understanding of content and relationships.

The restructuring of Bite also includes the creation of an internal services hub that will offer a range of content, creative, digital and insight services, complemented by client servicing executives.

Bite's global board now features Cunningham; EMEA head Kath Pooley; Asia-Pacific heads David Ketchum and Paul Mottram; and Kersh.

Bite has hired numerous digital and content specialists in recent months, including Pearse from New Media Age; Mike Harvey from Google; and, former Waggener-Edstrom digital head Jon Silk.

“The merger is going to have a significant impact on the way we deliver services to our clients across our 15 offices," added Cunningham. "Most importantly, it will massively enhance our ability to deliver strong work across multiple channels and in multiple markets to help connect our clients with today’s consumer,”