Strengthening its position in the social and content market, independent integrated agency Four Communications Group (Four) has acquired data and insights-led agency Legend Engage. Rebranding as Four Engage, the agency will move immediately to Four’s headquarters in London Bridge.
Legend Engage has a core team of 12 people and a network of 15 further consultants. Its main services include data-driven social & digital insights, strategy and engagement. Clients include the BBC Good Food Show, Guinness World Records, HRA Pharma, Puressentiel and GSK. The agency’s fee income in 2016 was some £840k. The team will work very closely with Four’s own Digital and Media practices to deliver campaigns as well as Four’s strategic sector teams particularly in health, travel, financial services, property and hospitality.
Legend Engage was founded by Kath Ludlow and Rachel O’Sullivan in 2013. Both become managing directors of Four Engage. Kath is one of the UK’s leading brand content strategists who was previously editorial director at WPP’s Forward while Rachel is a digital pioneer and strategist who previously held senior roles with Pfizer, NCR, Deep Group and Channel 4 Interactive. Together they have developed the agency’s proprietary methodology, Mapper360TM, which delivers real-time data and actionable insights to inform marketing and PR strategies and campaigns. They were recently shortlisted for Best Use of Insights in The Drum’s Social Buzz Awards for their social insights and campaign results for BOL Foods. A suite of other sector, audience and territory products will be rolled out across the Four Group including Travel Mapper360, SME Mapper360, Millennial Mapper360 and MENA Mapper360.
Nan Williams, Four Communications Group chief executive said:
“We are seeing huge demand for and growth in social and content services and when the opportunity arose for an acquisition grounded in real-time, tangible data and insights we knew it would power our offering to the next level. Rachel and Kath have built a very smart agency and propriety products which will dovetail seamlessly into our integrated service offer and work across all our key markets.”
Legend Engage founding partner Kath Ludlow comments:
“Mapper360TM is transforming the way that marketing and PR agencies research, plan, create, track and evolve brand campaigns. Rachel and I have spent the past four years building our team and growing our client base across all sectors. It was vital for us to find a partner agency that was the best fit for our team and clients and, crucially, who shares our vision for developing Mapper360TM methodology to deliver ever-better insights and results. We are thrilled to be joining Four and working with such an inspirational and ambitious group and we are really excited about what we can achieve together.”
This acquisition is the seventh since Four successfully secured a £10m investment of equity finance from BGF (Business Growth Fund) in 2015 and its 11th acquisition overall. The agency has a strong track record of acquiring and integrating communications agencies which offer complementary services to the Group including bgb in 2011, Colman Getty in 2012, Kinross & Render in 2013, Consolidated PR in 2014, MSA Media, Broadgate Mainland and FBA in 2015, Packer Forbes and Rain Communications in 2016 and Insight Consulting Group last month.
Four was ranked no.15 in PR Week’s 2016 UK Consultancies report as well as no 6. independent, no.4 consumer, no.9 public affairs and no.46 in the world. In 2016 Four was ranked in the Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 league table, which ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing profits over the last three years, the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, which ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales and was named by the London Stock Exchange as one of the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2016.
Watch the Four Engage video here.