Publicis Groupe has announced the acquisition of Match Media, one of Australia’s top independent media agencies. Match Media will be part of ZenithOptimedia Group’s newly launched global media network, Blue 449.
Match Media was founded in 2003 by John Preston, CEO (pictured left). The agency, headquartered in Sydney, has more than 75 employees and specialises in media strategy and buying, digital planning and buying, search, social and analytics. Over the last twelve years, Match Media has focused on helping clients grow by creating work that works, and as a result has won local and global awards, including multiple Media Agency of the Year titles. Most recently Match Media was globally recognized by the Warc 100 as the 19th best media agency in the world, the only independent to be ranked in the top 20.
Match Media will retain its management team under the leadership of John Preston as CEO and James Simmons as COO (pictured right). They will in turn report directly to Gerry Boyle, Global Managing Partner/APAC Chairman, ZenithOptimedia Asia Pacific. Match Media in Australia will be the vanguard to expansion of Blue 449 across Asia-Pacific. The network launched in February with the rebranding of Walker Media in London to Blue 449. There are now four Blue 449 hubs – Australia, France, Italy and UK – and a further 13 are planned for launch by the end of the year.
Gerry Boyle said, “Blue 449 is a new global network comprised of like-minded entrepreneurs who are embracing technology and data as a means to delivering growth for clients. As a progressive digitally focused agency, Match Media is the perfect fit and we are pleased to announce their addition to the Blue 449 network.”
John Preston added, “Match has enjoyed a wonderful run in its twelve year history as an independent. Now, the rapidly changing world of data and technology has motivated us to explore potential partners that will allow us to provide our clients access to the latest technology and a suite of world class platforms and tools. The challenge was finding a partner who could supercharge our existing offering but also had a kindred spirit. Publicis Groupe and its network ZenithOptimedia really impressed us with their digitally progressive vision and their focus on harnessing the independent entrepreneurial spirit that is in our DNA. I am really looking forward to the next evolution of Match as part of the Blue 449 network.”
James Simmons said, “This is the natural next big step in the story of Match. We have been on a continual journey of improvement and have built what we believe to be an excellent foundation. The time is right to leverage the assets that Blue 449 can bring to our clients, people and business to grow and create another chapter of pushing the boundaries in the media agency landscape.”
Publicis Groupe currently counts over 1,300 employees in Australia throughout its networks Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett Worldwide, PHCG, Starcom MediaVest Group, ZenithOptimedia, Razorfish, DigitasLBi and Sapient. According to ZenithOptimedia’s latest forecast, digital media continues to be the main driver of ad revenue growth, video and mobile display in particular, in the Australian market. Overall in 2014, digital spend grew by 13 per cent.