SI Partners advises London-based digital content and social media agency Holler on the sale to Publicis Groupe


Marketing Communications


Sell Side


February 2011


Publicis Groupe announced today that it has acquired Holler, a leading London-based digital content and social media agency. The Holler brand will become part of the Leo Burnett Group in the UK.

"SI Partners is a fantastic team, which I trust hugely and would not hesitate to recommend to anyone. They offered up great advice, most importantly in a language I could understand. They marry explanations in plain English with super smart commercial sense. This was vital to our transaction. Above all, I could relate to the team as friends as well as trusted advisors – an invaluable and necessary combination." James Kirkham, Founding Partner & Managing Director, Holler

Founded in 2001, Holler is specialized in branded entertainment strategy, content creation and social media. The agency’s clients include Channel 4 (E4, More4), Global Radio (Capital, Heart, Galaxy, Classic, XFM), Red Bull and Logica. Holler has won several industry awards including 3 Gold IPA Effectiveness awards including ‘Best Innovation’ for work on E4’s Skins, plus a Guardian MEGA Award and IMA Grand Prix. The agency’s team of 35 digital specialists strengthen Leo Burnett’s rapidly-expanding digital capabilities, bringing the number of digital specialists in the UK Leo Burnett Group to more than 70.

The agency will continue to be managed by founding partners, James Kirkham, Managing Partner, and Will Pyne, Executive Creative Director, together with Simon Hankin, Joint Managing Partner.

The acquisition of Holler is in line with Publicis Groupe’s policy of continuing to expand its digital business throughout all of its networks. Digital is one of the two growth drivers at the heart of Publicis Groupe’s targeted acquisition strategy and today accounts for 28% of the Groupe’s revenue. Over the next three years, Publicis Groupe aims to increase the percentage of revenue derived from digital to 35%.

"Our mission is to ingrain digital thinking into every aspect of Leo Burnett’s work and culture. The acquisition of Holler, with its outstanding track record in social and branded content, will provide us with greater depth and specialization in these important and fast-growing areas. We want to provide our clients with the best advice on these decisive trends and to continue to create great brand thinking, throughout all platforms."
Andrew Edwards, Group Chairman and CEO Leo Burnett (UK)

"Publicis Groupe is the clear winning partner for us and the management team at Leo Burnett has proven time and again that they want to grow not only our business, but that we are crucial to the success of their own. We believe this will be a great partnership producing some of the best work in ways that big brands need to think these days." James Kirkham, Managing Partner, Holler

About Publicis Groupe

Publicis Groupe [listed on the Euronext Paris Exchange – FR0000130577 – and part of the CAC 40 index] is the world’s third largest communications group. With activities spanning 104 countries on five continents, Publicis Groupe employs approximately 49,000 professionals and offers local and international clients a complete range of advertising services through three global networks: Leo Burnett, Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi, and numerous agencies including Fallon, 49%-owned Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and Kaplan Thaler Group. VivaKi combines digital and media expertise, allowing clients to connect with consumers in a holistic way, with Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia worldwide media networks; and interactive and digital marketing led by Digitas and Razorfish networks. VivaKi develops new services, tools, and next generation digital platforms. Publicis Groupe offers healthcare communications with Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG, the first global network in healthcare communications). And with MSLGROUP, one of the world’s top five PR and Events networks, also provides expertise in corporate and financial communications, public affairs, branding, and social media marketing.

About Leo Burnett Group UK:

The Leo Burnett Group, comprising of Leo Burnett (Advertising) and brand activation partners, Arc (shopper/retail marketing), Lime (experiential) and LeoSports (sponsorship activation) provides one of the most innovative multi-platform cultures and structures found in any contemporary Creative Agency. For 2011, the Big Won Report has ranked Leo Burnett as the 3rd most creatively awarded agency in the UK and 5th most innovative agency in the World. Leo Burnett agencies are among the most awarded in the world (one of only 3 UK agencies in the Top 20) and were recognized for creating one of the Top 10 Most Innovative campaigns with the ‘House of Cards’ integrated campaign for Shelter.

Leo Burnett Group partners with clients such as Coca-Cola, Homebase, Kellogg, Littlewoods, McDonald’s, Miller Brands UK, Procter & Gamble, Dept for Transport (Drug Drive, Drink Drive, Teen & Child Road Safety) and Tesco.

Press release courtesy of Publicis Groupe.

SOURCE Publicis Groupe

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SI Partners is a fantastic team, which I trust hugely and would not hesitate to recommend to anyone. Above all, I could relate to the team as friends as well as trusted advisors – an invaluable and necessary combination.

James Kirkham, Founding Partner & Managing Director, Holler