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M&M Global TV

Andrew Hirsch: John Brown's acquisition by Dentsu will 'open a lot more doors for us'

16 July 2015
Andrew Hirsch: John Brown's acquisition by Dentsu will 'open a lot more doors for us'

Andrew Hirsch, chief executive of John Brown Media Group, talked to M&M Global about the company's acquisition by Dentsu Aegis Network, the partnership with iProspect and how the deal opens previously closed client doors.

“It’s been a very exciting few weeks,” Hirsch told M&M Global TV. “Finally we agreed the acquisition by Dentsu - something that we’ve been working on for 9 months.”

John Brown currently has offices in five markets - London, Dubai, Hong Kong, South Africa and Boston.

“Typically when we’ve launched an office as our own, as John Brown, we’ve got an anchor client which has often been a supermarket, bedded it down for about a year and looked to grow the business from there,” Hirsch said.

Watch the full interview here:



“[The Dentsu deal] will allow us to bed things in much quicker, maybe in three months, and grow those offices much quicker, and also grow the network much quicker.

“There are some markets that although we’re a big player in the content market, in the agency world we’re still relatively small as John Brown and going to places like America and Asia as effectively a £50m company, actually we weren’t being taken seriously. So this will open a lot more doors for us.”

Even though the ink on the agreement is still wet, the deal has already led to numerous new business prospects.

“The thing I was most impressed about the acquisition from my side was that literally the day after the deal was announced, we were getting emails and phone calls saying, ‘Can you come and help us with this pitch’, or ‘There’s a client over here that wants to talk to you because they’re not happy with their content provider’, or 'There’s a content opportunity',” he said.

“Almost every day I open my email and there’s another request. There were two from America last week, there’s something going on in China at the moment.”

But he admitted that the deluge of prospects could be overwhelming.

“The hardest thing at the moment is choosing the right things to go for,” he added. “We don’t want to get spread too thinly, but there are some opportunities for us. We’re only several weeks in and there’s a steep learning curve.”

Of course, as a customer publisher, for John Brown content is nothing new, something that's easy to overlook given all the evangelical zeal with which it gets talked about currently.

“I’ve been outspoken about what all the fuss is about,” he said. “We’ve been doing content for a long time. For the best part of 20 years.

“I think that all that’s happened really is that all the data’s coming out of companies, like iProspect for example for Carat, has proven that original rich content is actually working for companies.

“I think it was maybe our own fault as a business and our own fault as an industry that we were a little bit too instinctive in saying to companies - ‘We know this will work for you, just believe us’.

“Now we’ve actually got the data to back it up and that’s made a huge difference.”

M&M Global staff, London

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