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NEWS: Ogilvy snaps up DNX to create global B2B powerhouse | B2B Marketing

Ogilvy & Mather

, part of global media giant WPP, has acquired B2B Agency of the Year 2012 and 2013


, in one of the biggest ever deals seen in the global B2B agency sector.

Surrey-based DNX employed 106 full-time staff according to the most recent

B2B Agencies Benchmarking Report

, with gross income of £6.7 million, and a client list including SAP, Vodafone, Cisco and Adobe. It was ranked 12th in the B2B Agencies League Table for 2013.

OgilvyOne’s B2B business, Ogilvy Primary Contact and DNX have joined forces to create OgilvyOne DNX, the UK’s largest dedicated B2B agency. It will have a combined staff of 178 based in Canary Wharf, London and Shere, near Guildford, Surrey. Financial information regarding the deal has not been disclosed.

Sam Williams-Thomas, CEO, OgilvyOne commented on the news: “[B2B] has always been an important sector for OgilvyOne and bringing the three businesses together will enable us to continually deliver the best in class B2B marketing for our clients. The move allows us to broaden our scale and expertise in this area with a genuinely creative offer.”

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, and one of the most powerful and highly influential personalities in the global creative services industry, announced the acquisition to the London Stock Market on Thursday (22 May).

This latest acquisition of a B2B agency is part of an escalating trend of merger activity in the B2B creative services sector. Highlights to date have been the acquisition of New York-based Stein & Partners by Cheshire-based IAS in 2013 (forming SteinIAS) and the merger of London-based Gyro and Cincinnati-based HSR in 2000. Just last week, the acquisition of B2B digital specialist Purestone by Lewis PR was announced.

Acquisition by Ogilvy marks the culmination of an incredibly successful five year period for DNX, which was founded and co-run by husband and wife team Drew Nicholson and Domi Pettifar in 2000. The agency has demonstrated impressive growth during the credit crunch, increasing staff from 36 to 106 and turnover from £2.3 million to £6.7 million from 2009 to 2013.

Nicholson said: “This is a defining move for DNX. We have been B2B agency of the year for two years running and joining the Ogilvy family is a fantastic opportunity for our staff and clients to become part of a bigger, dedicated B2B offer. B2B marketing is rapidly developing and using techniques more traditionally associated with the B2C market. The new agency will have deeper expertise that will continue to push the boundaries of B2B marketing in this growing sector.”

The existing management teams of the three agencies will be merged to lead the new organisation with Nicholson becoming CEO of OgilvyOne DNX, reporting to Sam Williams-Thomas who is overall CEO of OgilvyOne. Clare Lawson, head of B2B at OgilvyOne, and Domi Pettifar, managing director, DNX, will become joint MDs of the new agency. They will work alongside Gareth Richards, managing director of Ogilvy Primary Contact, who will become managing partner. James Myers, head of planning, OgilvyOne will be responsible for strategic services at OgilvyOne DNX and Darren Bolton, executive creative director at DNX, will hold the same role at the new agency.

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