USA: Publicis acquires an equity stake in social media agency Big Fuel

Publicis Groupe has acquired an equity stake in Big Fuel, the New York-based social media agency. According to the terms of the agreement, Publicis Groupe immediately acquires 51% of the new agency, and has the possibility of increasing its participation to 100% from 2014. Big Fuel will be aligned under the VivaKi organization and serve as a strategic social media “center” for the VivaKi agencies Digitas, Razorfish, Starcom MediaVest Group and Zenith Optimedia, complementing their existing teams.

With more than 170 employees, Big Fuel is a pure-play social media agency, with all employees dedicated to providing clients with social media services including strategic, creative, distribution, management and analytics. The company has grown from 30 employees in early 2010, and its 2011 revenue is expected to reach nearly $30M, a 500% increase year-on-year. It has been named social media agency of record for some major marketers, including GM and T-Mobile. Big Fuel also works with Colgate-Palmolive, Microsoft, Clorox, Children’s Place, Gore-Tex and Philips.

Big Fuel is headed by Jon Bond, CEO, who assumed the role in January of 2011. Bond runs the agency in partnership with Avi Savar, founding partner and Chief Creative Officer, and Mike McGraw, managing partner and COO.  Big Fuel will report into the VivaKi organization through Laura Lang, global CEO of Digitas and member of the VivaKi Board of Directors.

“Big Fuel is a dynamic social media agency with a scalable model that encompasses social tools, process, a content studio and a distribution network. As a result, it will extend the creative and content resourcing of Digitas and Razorfish,”said Laura Lang.  “They specialize in taking brands from content to commerce, and their social media operating system has earned them Social AOR status with some of the world’s most powerful marketers.  Sitting inside VivaKi, with its powerful media and digital agency networks, Big Fuel gives us unprecedented Paid, Owned and Earned capabilities, further enhancing the social media strategies of its sister agencies.”

Jon Bond, CEO of Big Fuel, says the deal will help support Big Fuel’s rapid organic growth. “Big Fuel’s founder Avi Savar had the vision to create one of the first full-service social media agencies,” said Bond.  “Now that social is revolutionising global marketing, this partnership gives the agency and its clients scale, impact, and a network around the world.”

France, Paris & USA, New York, NY

Related articles:

%d bloggers like this: