LONDON — Publicis Groupe has wholly acquired UK consumer agency Taylor Herring to strengthen its earned and owned creative offer.

The eye-catching deal sees Taylor Herring, known for its award-winning creative brand campaigns, become part of the holding company’s Influence practice, led by Chris McCafferty, alongside full-service PR agency MSL and sustainability and ESG specialist Salterbaxter.

As part of the deal, Publicis Groupe UK has also acquired Taylor Herring’s in-house production company, St. Mark’s Studios.

It is the second major UK agency acquisition for Publicis Groupe this year: in February it bought B2B specialist Octopus Group, which sits within the creative division.

Taylor Herring was founded in 2001 by wife and husband team Cath Taylor and James Herring, with managing partner and chief creative officer Peter Mountstevens joining in 2003. The agency – which has a team of 25 and billed £4.7m in fees in 2020 – has won awards including Cannes Lions and D&AD pencils for clients such as Samsung, Subway, Iceland, easyJet, Kellogg’s, Disney, UKTV and YouTube.

McCafferty told PRovoke Media that the Taylor Herring business would be kept as a separate brand, and all staff and leadership would remain in place: “We’re absolutely investing in the brand. Both MSL and Taylor Herring have a different signature creativity and there is demand for both those styles — and we have way more demand than we can service through one brand. We’re putting the power of a group behind the creative flair of Taylor Herring and scaling the practice.”

He added: “Over the last two decades Cath, James and Pete have built an agency that’s helped define disruptive brand communications more than any other. Time after time, Taylor Herring’s powerful cultural moments and signature creativity dominate our social feeds and news pages. It’s a truly special agency that I can’t wait to help grow.”

Taylor Herring CEO and co-founder Herring said: “In our first decade we were the entertainment specialists, in our second we turned our attention to consumer brands. As we enter our third decade, we want to take Taylor Herring to the next level.

“The most progressive clients don’t ask for PR ideas or advertising ideas – they ask for brave creativity that delivers results. A lot of our work now is in owned and paid media so the opportunity to work closely with Publicis Groupe’s iconic agencies and have access to the Groupe’s capabilities is an incredible one. Taylor Herring turns 20 this year and I’m confident with this move, it’s going to be our best year yet.”

As well as MSL and Salterbaxter, Taylor Herring will work closely with Publicis creative agencies Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Digitas, BBH and others, and media agencies including Zenith and Starcom.

Publicis Groupe UK CEO Annette King said: “Clients are looking for transformative creativity that can spark anywhere – whether that’s through advertising, through experiences or in earned or owned media. By injecting a second agency that specialises in earned first creativity into our business, we believe there’s a great opportunity to increase growth for our clients. Taylor Herring is the best in the business when it comes to innovative PR campaigns, and a great cultural fit.”