Japan's Dentsu Network Acquires Mitchell Communications Group

by Chris Bahn  on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 2:01 am  

Elise Mitchell launched Mitchell Communications Group in 1995. It has 75 full-time employees with 20 project employees in 14 states.

Mitchell Communications Group Inc. of Fayetteville has sold to Dentsu Network, a Tokyo-based company looking to expand its global operations into public relations.

Dentsu targeted Mitchell Communications, whose clients include Walmart Stores Inc., Sam’s Club, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Tyson Foods, and Southwestern Energy, as its first PR company acquisition.

Mitchell Communications will keep its headquarters in Fayetteville.

"Mitchell Communications Group has built an exceptional reputation as a thriving midsize firm in the public relations industry for its work with some of the most iconic national and global brands," Dentsu Network CEO Tim Andree said in a news release announcing the acquisition. "Their integrated services offering and singular focus on creating solutions for clients across the enterprise have been major drivers in their rapid growth over the past five years.

"They are just the kind of innovative agency we were looking for to help us highlight the increasing importance of public relations to leading global brands. By acquiring Mitchell Communications, we intend to build out a full-service offering to benefit Dentsu clients globally that now includes public relations."

Mitchell Communications, which reports more than $13 million in revenue last year, has 75 full-time employees with 20 project employees in 14 states. CEO Elise Mitchell, who launched the firm in 1995, has been named to the executive team/operating committee of Dentsu Network. She’ll remain as CEO of Mitchell Communications, reporting to Andree and help build the company’s global efforts.

Sarah Clark, currently the executive vice president and chief strategy officer for Mitchell Communications, will become president.

"We’re excited to join the No. 1 agency brand and fastest growing agency network in the world," Mitchell said. "We’ve been fortunate to experience rapid growth ourselves, and we’ve significantly expanded our capabilities to serve client needs. Becoming a part of Dentsu allows us to offer clients even greater resources and access to innovation, technology and a global presence while maintaining our unique agency culture and intense entrepreneurial spirit.

"It will be a privilege to work with Dentsu going forward to continue serving Mitchell’s clients to the best of our collective abilities, and to attract other agencies to join the Dentsu global public relations network."

Mitchell Communications, named by Arkansas Business as 2010 Mid-Size Arkansas Business of the Year, has gained national attention for its rapid growth. Most recently it was named the 2012 Small Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report and was named among Inc.’s fastest growing companies in 2011 and 2012.

Dentsu Inc. has headquarters in Tokyo and Japan with offices in 29 countries. The company has been in operation 111 years and the company describes itself as “a leading innovator in the ways people, ideas, technology and business converge.”



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