Kristen Levine, President of FVW Fetching, has been in the pet and animal care industry for more than three decades. She brings immense expertise to the table, which is one of the many reasons PR and integrated marketing agency French/West/Vaughan (FWV) acquired her company in 2017 – a move that has been incredibly beneficial for everyone involved: Levine, FWV and clients from both sides. 

In this episode of the PRovoke Media Podcast, Levine and Leah Markham, senior vice president at FWV, join Megan Keogan to discuss the benefits of a niche practice acquisition like this – and trends in the pet care industry. 

“The first year after our merger with French West Vaughan we were able to acquire a key account in the animal pharmaceutical space —and they had an arm that was over-the-counter products for companion animals,” Levine says. “That nearly doubled our pet practice. This was an account that Fetching Communications on its own, prior to being acquired, would not have been able to land because we simply didn’t have the resources to serve all their needs. And French West Vaughan, on the other side, didn’t have the pet expertise prior to joining with us.”

Because of the team's lived experience of working through an acquisition, the agency is well positioned to better serve clients that may also be preparing to be acquired.

“If a smaller client comes to us today, they may be a startup company, but within a matter of just a few years, they can become part of a portfolio of a much larger company,” she says. “When we are working with those smaller brands or companies, it’s really important to understand what their goals are. And, if an acquisition is among their goals, what results do they need that’s going to attract the right acquisition partner.”

Markham notes that FWV’s experience with clients of all sizes helps the agency to cater to all companies, including complex situations like clients within clients. For example, the American Pet Products Association is a leading trade organization with hundreds of member organizations within – many of which are small businesses. 

“We work with them, some directly, some indirectly, on a regular basis,” she says. “We have that really interesting dichotomy between that larger organization and those smaller businesses all wrapped up within the same client.”

Having a global agency like FWV at their fingertips opens new doors for these smaller companies, Markham says. 

“After we work with them and they see some of the other capabilities we have, and we bring some of that general consumer expertise to the table, they are able to walk away and go, ‘Oh, wow, I never realized that I should even be in some of these other spaces." 

Key moments
0:00 Introductions
2:47 How Fetching Fit Into French/West/Vaughan 
7:20  Audience Overlapping Post-Acquisition 
10:58 Niche Markets-Micro Influencer Analogy 
13:00 Changes To Pet And Animal Care After COVID 
19:06 Service Remains the Same, Regardless Of Client Size 
22:53 The Future Of Pets 
25:00 Indirect Internal Benefits from an Acquisition