Earlier today Arkansas Business reported Dentsu Network's acquisition of Mitchell Communications Group. of Fayetteville.
What spurred the Japanese company’s interest in Mitchell Communications?
Ad Age visited with Detnsu Network president/CEO Tim Andree, who explained that the media holding company has recently shifted its focus to acquiring media agencies. Dentsu America had its own in-house communicatinos department, but nowhere near the public relations reach or expertise that Mitchell Communications offered.
The 18-year-old northwest Arkansas company boasts a client roster that includes a number of corporate heavyweights including Tyson, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Sam’s Club and is regarded as one of the top independent PR firms in the nation:
"Our clients have been asking for PR and strategic communications and capabilities and we haven't been able to provide it," said Tim Andree, who serves as senior VP of Dentsu Inc. and president-CEO of the Dentsu Network. In recent years, he's led the rapid expansion of the Dentsu network in regions outside of Asia with the purchase of shops such as McGarryBowen, 360i and Firstborn. He also has been working on exporting those brands outside of the U.S. to handle more global client work and was a major driver of one of the biggest deals adland has seen in recent times, the merger of Aegis and Dentsu.
"The clients have been driving what we invest in ... PR is another area where we're going to have to provide a global capability," Mr. Andree told Ad Age.”
Just in the last three years Mitchell Communications has seen tremendous growth, improving revenues from $6.5 million in 2010 to $11 million in 2011 and $13 million last year.
In addition to continuing to grow Mitchell Communications, founder and CEO Elise Mitchell will help Andree and Dentsu grow their PR reach. Ad Age says Mitchell is “responsible for helping identify other potential deals.”
Mitchell Communications will continue to operate from Fayetteville.
PRWeek.com reports Dentsu’s pending $5.1 billion purchase of Aegis, a London-based media firm, will be aided by the acquisition of Mitchell Communications.
Andree said the holding company could not acquire Aegis without being able to offer PR and strategic communications services.
“Our whole goal is to be as seamless as possible for clients,” he added.