The Leith Agency acquires rival, Newhaven Communications

THE Edinburgh-based advertising agency behind several well-known campaigns – including for soft drink, IRN-BRU – has acquired, with immediate effect, Newhaven Communications, arguably best known for its Tennent’s lager adverts.

Says The Leith Agency, the move, “which has been mutually agreed by both parties, further strengthens Leith’s position as one of the most progressive marketing services companies in the UK and enhances resource, expertise and creative talent”. Newhaven co-founders, Ken Dixon and Jonathan Shinton, will not be part of the new entity.

In a Leith media release, managing partner, Richard Marsham, is quoted, as saying: “At Leith we strive to deliver bold ideas, both for our clients and ourselves. The coming together of Leith and Newhaven is a clear example of this strategy and our united strength and skillsets can only be of benefit to our clients and staff. Both companies share the same culture and values and we’re excited at the opportunities this merger brings.”

The release also quotes Dixon, as saying: “Since we launched, Leith has been one of our biggest competitors, yet we have always maintained a friendly rivalry. When pitching against them, we always saw them as the agency to beat and we think they thought the same. Combining forces at such a pivotal point in the world of marketing makes sense on a lot of levels, and we have put together a very simple, smart deal. This mutual respect has delivered the deal quickly and without fuss, and will bring added muscle, energy and opportunity to all parties.”

Newhaven, also Edinburgh-based, has a staff of around 20. It’s not known what plans Dixon or Shinton have for the future.

The acquistion has a symmetry to it, insofar as Newhaven was created following a staff breakaway from Leith, a decade ago.

Adds the release: “With specialist services including advertising, partnership marketing, brand consultancy, digital communications and planning, The Leith Agency currently employs 75 staff and delivers creative campaigns for clients across a variety of sectors. Its clients include A.G. Barr, the Scottish Government, Velux, Baxters, ScotRail and Dobbies.”