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Digital Transformation Media Planning and Buying Adtech

Stagwell Group acquires Goodstuff as drive to rival legacy holding companies continues

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By Chris Sutcliffe | Senior reporter

January 4, 2022 | 5 min read

Marketing group Stagwell has acquired London-based media agency Goodstuff in its latest move to take on adland’s powerhouses.

The deal will see what was formerly the UK’s second-largest independent media agency work alongside Assembly, itself a member of the Stagwell Media Group following a combination with the ForwardPMX brand in September last year. It speaks to Stagwell’s mission to go up against legacy holding companies by doubling down on tech solutions.

Goodstuff Stagwell

Stagwell Group continues to invest in digitally savvy agencies

On the decision to sell, Goodstuff, which has counted the likes of AA, Ben & Jerry’s and Subaru among its client list, said in a statement: “Why Stagwell, you may well ask? Very simply because they are the best possible fit with our business and our brand.

“From a business perspective, it was a no brainer as we can now offer world class breadth and depth of technology, data and digital services (10,000 digital-first experts, 68 cities, 24 countries & £5BN media billings) to our clients in our pursuit of full-funnel, omnichannel excellence.

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“And from a brand perspective, we’ve always been independent of mind, entrepreneurial and outspoken in the industry and so finding a new partner that shared and supported these values and ambitions was super important.”

The announcement also highlighted the scale of Stagwell’s investment in new solutions, citing its stable of media agencies including Anomaly, 72&Sunny, CPB, Assembly, Code & Theory, Harris Poll, in addition to Goodstuff.

Stagwell’s merger with MDC Partners last year has allowed it to strike strategic partnerships at scale. It struck a transatlantic partnership with Serviceplan in October, and in December announced its plans to “supercharge” digital out of home through a partnership with Talon Outdoor.

Speaking to The Drum in September, Stagwell founder Mark Penn said the spate of deal-making was designed to make his firm a true competitor to marketing's hitherto all-powerful holding companies.

”Our goal is to increasingly compete with them on their terms," he said. "Part of our strategy, of putting together creative and digital talent, is to be able to turn around and say [that] if you’ve been using those four majors, but you’ve been dissatisfied, they’re not digital and their creative isn’t immersive enough, that we can be a real alternative.”

That focus on data and tech solutions is also a probable cause for Stagwell’s acquisition of Goodstuff, which has always marketed itself as being ahead of the curve when it comes to digital solutions.

As Goodstuff went on to say in its statement: ”This time, it’s the outcome of our two-year ‘Good to Great’ business strategy. A recognition that whilst we’re one of the UK’s leading media agencies now, the digital, data and technology industry around us is changing at such pace that, if we’re to realise our stated mission above, we must similarly change, and evolve our offering.”

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