Partners Andrews Aldridge buys DS-J

LONDON - The direct marketing agency makes a bid for top-20 status with the acquisition of a rival shop.

The independent direct marketing agency Partners Andrews Aldridge is expanding after acquiring its rival direct marketing agency DS-J.

The deal will see Andrews Aldridge take 100 per cent ownership of DS-J, which was launched in 2002 by the managing partners, Edmund Smiley-Jones and Mark Davidson, and the creative director, Paul Snoxell.

DS-J will be merged into Andrews Aldridge, which was founded in 1998, but Phil Andrews, the agency's chief executive, would not disclose how much the agency had paid for DS-J or the structure of the deal. However, Andrews Aldridge will take on all DS-J's staff and clients, which will include the recently won Daily Mirror account.

Other DS-J clients include BBC Publications, Network Rail, Travelodge, Sony and Carlsberg. The deal will create a top-20 direct agency based on turnover, and the headcount of the expanded Andrews Aldridge will reach 63.

Smiley-Jones and Davidson will retain their titles at Andrews Aldridge and take positions on the board alongside Andrews, the chairman, Steve Aldridge, and the newly promoted managing partner, Jon Gowar. DS-J's creative directors, Snoxell and Andy Todd, will take senior positions in the creative department.

Andrews said: "This is a commercial opportunity to grow our business. We've always grown the business organically and we are continuing to do so. This also gives us some great new talent, and in an industry where it is very hard to find. Combining the agencies allows us to grow with great talent while retaining our independence and unique stance."

Smiley-Jones said: "We've always viewed Andrews Aldridge as an agency with the same values, culture and work ethic as us. This is why it is a perfect match for DS-J and its clients."

Earlier this week, DS-J won the Daily Mirror business following a pitch against an undisclosed number of agencies. The newly merged agency will be charged with driving customer insight and increasing the responsiveness of direct media for the daily newspaper.

1998: Partners Andrews Aldridge is founded as a joint venture between Steve Aldridge, Phil Andrews and Partners BDDH
2002: Partners Andrews Aldridge amed Campaign's Direct Agency of the Year.
2003: Partners BDDH is bought by Havas
2004: Havas sells its stake in Partners Andrews Aldridge back to the agency's management, making it independent
2005: Andrews Aldridge wins a place on Sky's roster in January. In June, the agency picks up £4 million Vodafone business-to-business direct account.