MEC's Tonic will help clients engage with startups

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Hannah Blake.
Hannah Blake.

Brands needs to be faster and smarter to take advantage of emerging digital tech, says WPP company

MEC has established a division called MEC Tonic to help digital clients better engage with adtech and media start-ups.

The agency wants to help brands use "emerging technology at the points in the customer journey that have the biggest impact on purchase decisions," according to a release.

The new division is currently working with US companies Quid and Affinio and UK startups Seenit, Openr and Rezonence.

MEC Tonic will focus on three phases when helping clients work through digital briefs. These include helping brands understand how technology can help their business and matching them to a relevant start-up. It will also offer a consultancy service to match new technology to a client’s wider business needs over six months.

Hannah Blake, the director of open innovation at MEC, will lead the division after joining the agency in February from BBC Worldwide, where she ran Labs, a similar startup accelerator division. She reports to Ben Poole, the chief digital officer at MEC.

Blake has been developing the division with Jide Sobo, the MEC head of mobile, and Toby Strangewood, the group strategy director.

The agency has also launched a programm called Intrapreneuers to encourage staff to submit business ideas that, if approved, will be backed by MEC.

Jason Dormieux, the MEC joint chief executive, said: "Technology continues to disrupt client marketing strategies. For brands to be on the front foot, we need to take innovation via new companies and business models seriously."

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