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Next Fifteen merges Bite and Text 100 in Asia-Pacific region


By Stephen Lepitak, -

August 5, 2014 | 3 min read

Next Fifteen is to merge its business across Asia and some markets within mainland Europe following an operations review, which will see Bite merge within Text 100 to become the sole brand across some of its markets.

The group, which has reported that its management expects revenue to exceed £100m for the year end this month, has said that it has seen ‘strong growth’ in the US, as well as an improvement in performance within the UK, while modest growth has been achieved within mainland Europe and Asia Pacific was described as ‘steady’ in a financial statement.

The move to merge the two agencies was explained as offering the company ‘greater scale and efficiency’, with more details expected to be reported to shareholders in October.

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen told The Drum that the decision had come after he stepped in to run Bite last year.

"I came in when Bite was struggling and initially I came in thinking I had to fix the North American business, make a few other small changes and off we go. But the more time I spent within the business the more there was something not quite right, which was that it was a business that was not doing what it wanted to do," revealed Dyson.

"I wanted Bite to be what it wanted to be and do what it wanted to do. So I spoke to the people at the agency who told me they didn't know why we were building a global business. We wanted Bite to be, not a classic global agency, but something different."

He added that following a review the business decided that Bite wanted to be a modern and progressive agency, while also helping Text 100 gain more scale in the Asia Pacific region where it will grow to employ around 300 people.

"We are not doing this to save money by merging these two businesses. It's about gaining scale...they still won't be a large business in that region but they will be a much stronger business in markets such as Singapore, Sidney and Hong Kong," Dyson continued.

Contrary to reports elsewhere, it is understood that David Ketchum, president of Bite Asia-Pacific, will remain with the group following the expiry of his earn-out deal after the sale of Upstream.The Drum has learned that he will remain during the merger process and that he has yet to decide his next steps.

In another change, the group has also decided to move its financial year end to January.

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Bite Communications

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Next Ffifteen Communications Group

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Text 100

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