LONDON — Weber Shandwick has acquired UK mobile agency Flipside, bolstering the global PR firm's fast-growing content marketing and digital capabilities.
The deal marks the second time that Flipside MD Marcus Dyer has sold a digital firm to one of the world's biggest PR firms; eight years ago, Edelman acquired Dyer's Spook Media agency in London.
After departing his role as Edelman's global MD of mobile in 2013, Dyer launched Flipside, and has since grown the business to 35 people, designing and developing mobile apps and experiences for such brands as Diageo, Visa, GSK, Doddle and Nurofen.
"Soon, you will no longer be a world-class business without being a mobile business," said Weber Shandwick chief digital officer Chris Perry. "Likewise, you can't continue to be a world-class communications agency without world-class mobile expertise. Adding Flipside deepens our digital offering and means to deliver mobile-centric strategy and programs to clients."
The deal comes as mobile platforms continue to reshape the media landscape, while immersive technology promises to redefine the consumer experience. "To a large extent, marketers still view mobile as a medium to simply extend awareness-building, advertising-minded tactics onto a smaller screen," said Perry.
"As we manage more of our lives on smart phones, we see the critical need to go far beyond these conventions – to deliver real value to users through new types of digital experiences and business services," he added. "Flipside recognized the potential from its start, and now gives Weber Shandwick added depth and dimension to bring new value-based, engagement-driven ideas to life."
The SABRE Awards is the world's largest PR awards program, running across six continents. 2016 details now available.