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Administrators break up The Marketing Group (RYVL)


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

August 13, 2019 | 3 min read

The Marketing Group (TMG), the global network created to lend scale to indie agencies, has fallen into administration after "a period of cashflow issues". It has been broken into six subsidiaries with the sale of some already agreed.


Administrators break up The Marketing Group (RYVL)

After several tumultuous years, on 1 August the experiment in a new global holding company came to an end when London-based FRP Advisory was appointed as administrators to recoup value for creditors.

It's being led by Jason Baker and Geoff Rowley who split the group into six subsidiaries. The administrators told The Drum they have already secured the sale of Slingshot Sponsorship, Ranieri Public Relations, Wildcard Communications GmbH and Ranieri t/as Reflexion Publique.

These "pre-pack deals ensured all jobs were preserved," it said.

"They are continuing to explore options for the remaining businesses and will update creditors in due course" Those remaining include Addiction Advertising and Truth Media.

It marks an end to an ambitious project launched in 2015 that promised a "true 360 digital agency". It experienced several difficulties which led to a rebrand to RYVL in 2018. The restructured global network operated some 18 agencies, spanning the US, UK, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and Singapore.

Chief executive Adam Graham, who departed in March this year, said at the time that the "tightened up" proposition would mean agencies didn't compete against each other, a supposed benefit over the stacked decks of WPP and co.

The group earnestly pushed into new technologies like blockchain late in 2017 "to provide an alternative for global clients who feel they are not getting value from their current set up".

It launched a media agency, called Truth, based on the technology in 2017 but within a year its chief executive Mary Keane-Dawson and chief operating officer Adam Hopkinson had departed.

In February 2019, RYVL acquired Blockchain Nordic (€4.8m) to bolster its output in the burgeoning space. Following that move, chief executive Adam Graham resigned and was replaced by Jesper Øhlenschlæger, boss of the blockchain firm.

Soon after, material changes in the business saw its shares delisted from Sweden's Nasdaq First North due to a “change of identity”.

The company denied these changes and said it would apply to trade elsewhere later in 2019. Øhlenschlæger promised that the group was well placed to benefit from an "explosion in the blockchain industry".

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