Maja Pawinska Sims 16 Feb 2021 // 11:58AM GMT
LONDON — Publicis Groupe UK has acquired B2B marketing specialist agency Octopus Group for an undisclosed sum to boost its B2B capabilities.
The leadership at the agency remains the same, with Jon Lonsdale as CEO and Pete Hendrick as managing director. The 60-strong agency will move into Publicis’ London campus when it becomes possible to return to offices.
Octopus has evolved over recent years from a technology PR specialist to a digital and creative agency within the B2B sector, with clients including Siemens, Adobe, Logitech, Smartsheet and ACI Worldwide. There are no client conflicts as a result of the deal.
Lonsdale told PRovoke Media: “B2B is doing well and this is a real chance to upscale our move to being a broader B2B and integrated agency and supercharge the business, as well as growing grow geographically and with Publicis’ resources, tech and data.”
The agency joins Publicis’ creative practice alongside Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and Digitas, rather than the influence practice that includes MSL, led in the UK by Chris McCafferty.
Lonsdale said: “It’s particularly satisfying, after all the work we’ve done over the past few years, for our digital and creative work to be recognised in a B2B context. It’s the right time to do it and Publicis is a great fit. Everyone is proud to have reached this milestone and excited about the next few years. It’s the start of a new chapter.”
He added: “We’ve been chatting to Chris is in this process and will be working alongside MSL and collaborating on various work, but it’s great that Publicis has recognised that creative comms is also an important part of its B2B offer.”
Over the past 12 months Octopus has grown revenue by single digits from 2019 and seen a 30% uplift in average project size as clients expand briefs to include more integrated work across channels.
Creative practice CEO Magnus Djaba said: “The disruption caused by the pandemic means some B2C brands are increasingly adopting a B2B2C approach. Brands are also facing a time of huge technological transformation and disruption, and one of the things that attracted us to Octopus Group, is their technology background. We need to understand all the challenges our clients face, from marketing to distribution to commerce to product innovation, to deliver the right creativity at every point in their sales funnel.”
Publicis Groupe UK CEO Annette King said: “We’ve been looking to acquire the right B2B partner to supercharge our skillset in this area for some time. Octopus has a proven track record of solving client challenges in ways that transform categories. Bringing them in to Publicis Groupe UK as part of our Power of One model, presents a great opportunity for client and agency growth.”