If you can’t beat EM Agency, join with EM Agency. BCP announced Wednesday that it has acquired Montreal-based shopper marketing experts EM Agency and appointed founding partner Alain Tadros as president. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close by mid-August, were not disclosed.
EM Agency’s employees and clients, including Danone, Rogers Wireless, Gaz-Metro and Loto-Québec, will be folded into the existing BCP operations, said Tadros. There was some attrition among EM Agency’s support staff as a result of the merger, he said, although he wouldn’t say how many positions were affected.
Tadros launched EM Agency in 2004 with a primary focus on promotions and brand activation, ultimately growing the agency to more than 40 people. There are no client conflicts as a result of the merger, said Tadros.
The seeds for Wednesday’s deal were planted in a fall 2012 meeting between Tadros and BCP chairman Yves Gougoux, who sold BCP – along with his 30% stake in Publicis Canada – to French multinational Publicis Groupe earlier this year.
“Because of our expertise in shopper marketing, we saw there was a good fit with the Publicis Groupe,” said Tadros. “We thought the fit was good, we loved the vision they had, and we thought that both agencies would be significantly stronger together.
“It was eight months of going back and forth before finally finding the fit that made sense for everybody.”
BCP also announced that EM Agency co-founder Harry Bouchard was joining the agency as creative director/brand activation, while the agency’s current executive vice-president, Carol-Ann Kairns, becomes general manager.
EM Agency also recently hired Chantal Joly, a former copywriter with Cossette, as a creative director.
Alain Bergeron, the former chief marketing officer for Astral Media who succeeded Gougoux as BCP president in 2010, is leaving the agency at the end of the month. His departure was announced internally about a month ago.
The new-look agency will employ between 90-100 people, with Tadros noting that access to Publicis Groupe’s resources would significantly enhance EM Agency’s capabilities.
“We want to get a little bit more aggressive and robust in this market, there’s no doubt,” he said. “We’re very excited about the future that this [new agency] is going to create for us.”