EXCLUSIVE: RAPP Melbourne has been re-launched through a merger with DDB-owned boutique agency Crawford Brown as a result of DDB Group Australia’s new national structure.
Chris Brown, chief executive of DDB Group Australia, told B&T the refreshed RAPP will be a “modern data driven agency that has customer insight at its heart”.
As a result of the merger Crawford Brown’s managing director David Brown (pictured right) will move into RAPP as managing director of RAPP Melbourne alongside Tess Doughty (pictured left) who takes the managing partner role.
Crawford Brown’s executive creative director, Steve Crawford, will also play a part in RAPP but will continue with his national role on the Westpac account.
The merger will see 10 staff from Crawford Brown, which was originally set up in 2010 as a conflict agency for DDB by former M&C Saatchi staffers Brown and Steve, join RAPP Melbourne.
As a result RAPP’s Melbourne ranks will swell to 25 with the agency also on a recruitment drive to fill five roles from across the strategy, analytics and creative disciplines.
Brown said there would be no redundancies due to the merger.
Brown said the new RAPP Melbourne is about cutting through the noise surrounding Big Data to deliver results for clients.
“It is very much about helping clients unlock the possibilities that data provides and deliver fantastic commercial solutions for them. That might be through marketing programs, infrastructure, technology or comms.”
Crawford Brown’s clients will move across to RAPP with the most significant being Officeworks’ business-to-business account.
Dave Brown said: "The new RAPP Melbourne takes the best of both businesses and packages them into a strong data driven integrated agency offering with senior firepower."
Doughty added: "The merger will provide a platform to offer an extension of the services we currently provide and feel we now come to the market with a full service and creative offering that is both unique and extensive in its value proposition."
DDB announced their new national structure in November and at the time pointed to acquisitions in the digital area.
Brown said possible acquisitions are still on the cards adding that there will be a “raft of initiatives” to come but he would not provide a time frame.
“Since the announcement of DDB Group Australia’s new national structure, we have been increasing our focus on our individual business units and having a national point of view on their development,” Brown said in a statement.
“RAPP is experiencing significant growth in the Sydney market under the leadership of Simone Blakers and this has highlighted the outstanding opportunities for a modern data driven agency to help create and maintain more meaningful customer interactions for our clients."