Thursday, July 19, 2018
  • Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017
Swirl Becomes Part of mcgarrybowen After Dentsu Aegis Deal
Pictured (l-r) are Tom Sebastian, John Berg, Tasha McVeigh and Martin Lauber
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Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired Swirl, an independent digital-first, full-spectrum ideas agency in San Francisco. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Swirl will become part of global creative agency mcgarrybowen, which is in the Dentsu Aegis family. Swirl expands mcgarrybowen’s capabilities in digital and social-first marketing, branded content, and eCRM.

Founded in 1997, Swirl lives at the intersection of innovation, technology, and human engagement. The shop has grown to 175-plus people, serving a range of clients including Microsoft Stores, CA Technologies, Juniper Networks, eBay, and HTC. San Francisco Business Times ranked Swirl as the largest independent ad agency in San Francisco and SF Weekly named it the best.

Simon Pearce, mcgarrybowen US CEO, said, “When we engaged in our initial discussions with Swirl, we were attracted to their human-based insights and how they create meaningful interactions with today’s consumers.” He explained, “Swirl’s strong data-driven approach and unique digital execution combined with mcgarrybowen’s ‘Big Organizing Ideas’ and brand platform thinking take us to new heights. Together we will elevate the way we build brands, and our clients will benefit with a higher return on their marketing investment.”

Swirl Co-CEO John Berg said, “We have long admired mcgarrybowen because of their reputation in building creative platforms for some of the world’s most beloved and iconic brands. We are excited about the end-to-end capabilities of our combined agencies.”

“With Swirl joining the mcgarrybowen family, we are now poised to deliver even greater creatively led solutions to the business challenges facing today’s CEOs and CMOs in an increasingly digital economy,” said Nick Brien, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network Americas. “With strong work for its growing clients, mcgarrybowen has terrific velocity, and Swirl is the perfect complement, culturally and creatively, to accelerate continued growth.”

Following the acquisition, Swirl will be named Swirl mcgarrybowen. Berg will continue his role as co-CEO, and president of the newly dubbed Swirl mcgarrybowen, reporting to Pearce. Tom Sebastian will maintain his Swirl role as co-CEO, and will take on the added role of global head of content for mcgarrybowen, while Tasha McVeigh will continue in her current role as chief culture officer. Swirl founder Martin Lauber will focus on business development and any strategic integration of his other investments. Swirl will remain in its current location in the Presidio section of San Francisco.

The addition of Swirl strengthens mcgarrybowen’s West Coast presence and creates synergies with mcgarrybowen’s San Francisco office, which serves key clients Intel and Clorox, among others. The global network of mcgarrybowen’s has 12 offices: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Mexico City, São Paulo, Shanghai, Honk Kong, Singapore, and Bangalore.


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