Maja Pawinska Sims 16 Jul 2018 // 11:00AM GMT
LONDON — Weber Shandwick has acquired award-winning social agency That Lot to bolster its creative capabilities in EMEA and beyond.
That Lot was founded in 2014 by actor, writer, director and social media expert David Schneider (of “The Day Today” and BAFTA-nominated “The Death of Stalin”), Digital Emmy-winning writer and social content pioneer David Levin, and managing director David Beresford. The agency works with clients including Channel 4, B&Q, Jamie Oliver and Have I Got News For You.
That Lot’s 67-strong team includes social-first creatives, designers, writers and videographers, as well as project managers and account handlers led by Laura Tannenbaum, a social and marketing specialist formerly at Bauer Media, News UK and Global Radio.
The agency moved into Weber Shandwick’s offices last week, bringing total headcount in London to 325. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
UK CEO Rachel Friend told the Holmes Report that the two firms were a good fit: “We started talking to That Lot last year – we were working on a few shared clients and the conversation came out of that, and from a huge increase in client demand for social creative. That Lot has talented creatives, writers and projects managers all under one roof, led by some of the most sought-after creatives in our industry, so combining them with our expertise in integrated comms, social strategy and data and analytics will help us to continue to bring really cutting-edge social thinking to clients.”
The brand is being kept, with the agency now known as “That Lot, A Weber Shandwick Company” – the same styling as Stockholm creative agency Prime, which was acquired in 2014. Friend added: “We are already working seamlessly together on three or four clients and as we look to expand our offer to existing and new clients and new business pitches, That Lot will form part of the total Weber Shandwick offer.”
That Lot co-founder Levin said: “We're passionate, maybe even slightly obsessive, about understanding and adapting to the way audiences use social media to ensure our clients cut through on the right platforms and engage with their audiences brilliantly. And a lot of that is about telling powerful human stories. It was obvious to us that Weber Shandwick excels at creating engaging campaigns fuelled by world-class audience research, strategy and data. That's why we felt they were the perfect partner to help us continue to develop and globalize our business.”
Levin added: “There’s a genuine energy between the way we approach work and the way Weber approach work – we both focus very heavily on storytelling and the power of human stories on social – and our teams are getting on well.”
The deal follows Weber’s acquisition of London-based mobile specialist agency Flipside in 2016, which made the London operation a network hub for digital expertise. Weber Shandwick also expanded its digital creative content capabilities in Brazil in May with the acquisition of digital marketing firm Cappuccino.
In December 2017, Weber Shandwick brought on two leading digital firms – Bomoda and Resolute Digital – to boost its capabilities in data and analytics and performance marketing.
Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky said: “That Lot are at the forefront of creating innovative and compelling social creative for a range of brands and businesses. This new partnership is another example of how we continue to add creative firepower in the UK and beyond.”