LONDON — Technology specialist Clarity has acquired creative SEO, paid and analytics agency 3WhiteHats to expand its offer in paid search and social.

The acquisition of the 16-strong agency brings Clarity’s global headcount to 86, with 32 people in the UK. 3WhiteHats is based in Cornwall and London and its clients include Aon, Invesco, Picturehouse Cinemas, Abellio and the BlueMarine Foundation.

Tom Telford, managing director of the agency (pictured, right, with 3WhiteHats strategy and innovation director William Julian-Vicary) will continue to lead the offer and the 3WhiteHats name will be dropped.

It is the fourth acquisition by Clarity in the last 18 months, and the second since the start of the pandemic: the agency, which grew by 47% over the past year, acquired Benelux tech PR and communications specialist Yellow Communications in September 2020.

In October 2019 the agency acquired LA-based Brew, and became part of Freuds' Brewery Group network of independent agencies. In December 2019 Clarity acquired Dynamo PR, doubling its UK team.

Clarity founder and CEO Sami McCabe told PRovoke Media that the acquisition was “an important milestone” for Clarity: “We’re always looking for ways to use acquisitions to accelerate our progress in major growth pillars, whether that’s new geographies, new industries to play in, or new capabilities and skills.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in that third bucket recently as we move from a straightforward media relations agency to something more integrated, and when I met Tom it was immediately obvious that3WhiteHats could bring a range of capabilities and products to really amplify our business and help us develop a more sophisticated value proposition.”

He added: “We’re focused on moving clients towards a conversation around the business outcomes they want, and we can now lean on a whole range of channels with 3WhiteHats to think more strategically about how to achieve that. It was also blindingly obvious from day one that the two teams were really aligned on culture and values – the fit feels so right.”

Telford, who had previously worked alongside Clarity’s UK managing director and EMEA president Rachel Gilley when she was at Bite, told PRovoke Media: “From day one, this felt really natural. SEO is still based around key phrases, technology and links, fundamentally, and the relationship between comms and SEO is unexploited and a huge opportunity. Combining our business with an amazing media relations team will have explosive results for clients.”