LONDON — W Communications has acquired Edinburgh agency Steely Fox for an undisclosed sum. 

Steely Fox is a six-strong agency that specialises in PR, creative, experiential and social for the drinks industry including Kraken rum and a number of Scottish whisky brands and distilleries. It was founded by managing director Rory Steel, who will step into an advisory role.

Steel and W founder and global CEO Warren Johnson both started their careers at Red Consultancy in 1998, before going on to launch their own agencies a decade later.

Steely Fox director Emma Dunn becomes head of W Scotland, after joining the agency two years ago. She has also been a business director at MediaCom and head of planning and strategy at NewsCorp, and spent 11 years at media agency network Carat.

W Communications CEO Rachel Friend – who joined the agency in July after eight years at Weber Shandwick – said: “Expanding our footprint into Scotland is a natural next step. W’s award-winning PR and social specialisms combined with Steely Fox’s Scottish expertise underlines our commitment to delivering best-in-class work wherever in the world a brand may be.

“We’re really excited to bring Rory and his team into the W family. Our agencies have worked together several times over the years, which has always delivered great results. The synergy between our two businesses, in terms of clients and culture, made the decision an easy one.

She said W – winner of PRovoke’s global consumer agency of the year award for 2020 – has worked with Steely Fox on campaigns for brands including Hendrick’s Gin and Lidl.

“We already work with a number of drinks brands so Steely Fox’s expertise in that market, blended with our scale and reputation is a boon to our clients’ evolving needs, while adding further weight to our UK operation.”