MSQ adds Elmwood to Holmes & Marchant to create global design contender

Go-go marketing services group MSQ has bought design firm Elmwood to merge with venerable Holmes & Marchant to create what it calls a new global design agency model, trading globally as Elmwood.

The new entity will have over 200 staff with offices in the UK, Asia and US. Paul Galesloot from Elmwood will be CEO, ad industry veteran Steve Gatfield executive chairman. MSQ is backed by private equity firm LDC.

CEO Galesloot says: “Elmwood shares the same ambition as Holmes & Marchant to be a key brand guardian for its clients in the development of powerful content that drives competitive advantage. The demand for content is outpacing supply. Brands truly need to stand out in a crowded marketplace. By combining forces, we’ve created a new agency model to help companies meet this demand and ensure their branded experiences are consistent and strategic across all channels.

“We have a solid platform of existing clients to further build this proposition and capitalise on cross-pollination opportunities for Elmwood and more broadly for MSQ.”

MSQ global CEO Peter Reid says: “Many global design agencies have strengths in particular geographies but not truly globally. The same has been true in the past of both Holmes & Marchant and Elmwood. What this acquisition does is bring together a marriage of equals to create a global design powerhouse.”

MSQ agencies now include Freemavens (research), Holmes & Marchant (branding and design), MMT Digital, Smarts (PR and content), MBAstack (customer acquisition), Stein IAS (B2B marketing), The Gate (creative and media), Walk-In Media (full-service media), twentysix (digital) and Brave Spark (creative production.)

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