The move follows Code Computerlove’s successful integration into MediaCom North Group just over 18 months ago and takes the total workforce across offices in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham to close to 500 people.
MediaCom positions itself as “The content and connections agency,” so adding Cheetham Bell’s creative reputation to the mix completes the offering by helping brands create better connections with their audiences.
The group will be led by MediaCom North’s Group Managing Director Paul Cooper, with Andy Cheetham continuing in the role of Executive Creative Director & Chairman of Cheetham Bell and will be based in MediaCom North’s Spinningfields headquarters. Erica Ingham as MediaCom North Group’s CFO will have responsibility for financials, HR and compliance.
They’ll be joined by newly appointed Mark Harrison who will become Managing Director of Cheetham Bell. He returns to Manchester after spending 14 years in London working with M&C Saatchi, Karmarama and Mother.
Karen Blackett (OBE) UK WPP Country Manager for the UK said: “WPP has a wealth of agencies operating in cities across the UK, servicing local, national and international clients. A key pillar of our UK business strategy is to continue to strengthen and grow our offering of world class marketing and communications services for our clients. With a recognition that many of our clients are located outside of London, our regional offices are central to this. Manchester is an important location in our regional plans, a city with a vibrant creative community, where WPP has incredible talent and I am extremely pleased that our Manchester offering will now include the Cheetham Bell, MediaCom collaboration.”
Paul Cooper, Group Managing Director for MediaCom North, added: “I am delighted to be working with Cheetham Bell and welcoming them to our family. We are looking to build on the success of the Code Computerlove acquisition, working with clients across every area of their marketing ecosystem to help grow their businesses. This is an extremely exciting time, as we shape our group to meet the changing needs of our clients in this rapidly evolving landscape. I am looking forward to putting creativity at the heart of communications planning, providing leading brands with effective ways of connecting with their consumers.”
Andy Cheetham said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of the largest agency offering outside of London. With its breadth of knowledge and expertise, the group will truly be the creative hub of the Northern Powerhouse. Having been part of WPP for over 17 years this is one of the most exciting initiatives I have been involved with. It recognises the growth potential of our region and the importance the North of England plays in ‘Creative Britain’.”
The group works with clients including Magnet, John West/Thai Union Brands, Siemens, Dr Oetker, On The Beach, Jersey Telecom, Soreen, Hillary’s Blinds, AO.com, Amaya, Tombola.com, Pentland Brands, Topcashback.com, Moneysupermarket.com, Centre Parcs and Webuyanycar.com.