Quoted UK marcoms company Creston has taken a 27 per cent stake in Londov creative agency 18 Feet & Rising, paying £1m of which half is earmarked to invest in the business.
Creston, which has latterly concentrated on digital and healthcare, is the former owner of DLKW (Delaney Lund Knox Warren) but that was sold to Lowe during the financial crisis.
18 Feet was founded by Jonathan Trimble and creative director Matt Keon in 2010 and has since built a reputation as one of London’s most promising creative newcomers. Its clients include Allianz, Cuprinol, Kopparberg, Nando’s, House of Fraser and digital work for Skoda. Last year, though, it lost its biggest account, Nationwide, to Chime Communications-owned VCCP.
18 Feet & Rising will service shared Creston clients under the Unlimited brand as 18 Feet & Rising Unlimited.
CEO Trimble (left, below, with Creston boss Barrie Brien) says: “Our partnership with Creston Unlimited and the access we gain will enable us to meet our clients’ evolving brand and business challenges fully, providing a truly stand-out offer in our marketplace.”
Creston group CEO Barrie Brien says: Barrie Brien says: “I am delighted that one of the industry’s most creative and highly regarded advertising agencies is becoming part of the Group. Their brand building creativity, combined with their in depth understanding of the digital world will give us a truly compelling offer for our clients.”
Creston, founded originally by former McCann executive Don Elgie, has proved one of the few stayers among london’s smaller marcoms groups, avoiding the disasters that struck rivals like Media Square. A substantial minority stake in a compant that partly replaces what it lost with DLKW looks a sensible move.
For 18 Feet the deal gives it access to many more clients and some investment money. The agency could, presumably, have sold to one of the biggies like WPP or Omnicom via an earn-out but the ambitious Trimble appears determined to show that 18 Feet can make it (more or less) on its own.