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Dentsu Aegis buys Manchester creative agency BJL

Nicky Unsworth

Dentsu Aegis Network has announced the acquisition of Manchester-based creative agency BJL.

The agency, which launched in 1987 and expanded into London in 2014, employs 75 people and has clients including Craghoppers, Pilkington, Ronseal, Skipton Building Society, Subaru Europe, Hilton and The Co-operative Bank.

BJL will continue to be led by CEO Nicky Unsworth (above), Managing Partner Jackie Holt and Commercial Director Iain Kerr – the trio who completed a management buy-out of the agency in 2004. Both the Manchester and London teams will remain in their existing offices.

Rachel McDonald, Managing Director of Dentsu Aegis Network North, said: “We have worked with BJL for many years and admired both the stand-out creative work that they deliver and the impressive talent they’ve grown from their headquarters in Manchester. 

“The addition of BJL further strengthens our offering and ability to offer true end-to-end brand solutions for our clients across creative, media, digital and technology.”

Unsworth added: “During our 30-year history we have enjoyed strong growth thanks to our longstanding and successful relationships with our clients as well as our unwavering commitment to delivering standout work.

“Having built our integrated model around the changing needs of brands and their consumers, we are ready now to embark on the next phase of our growth as part of Dentsu Aegis Network.”

Dentsu Aegis North employs 700 people across Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Newcastle, providing media, digital, creative, data and technology services for clients such as N Brown Group, Pets at Home, Thomas Cook, Halfords, and Holland & Barrett.

BJL reported profit of £864k on turnover of £7.16m in 2017 (up from £608k profit and ££6.56m turnover in 2016).  The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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