Code and Theory acquires digital agency Kettle

(L-R) Dan Gardner, founder and CEO, Code and Theory; Olivier Peyre, CEO and co-founder Kettle.
(L-R) Dan Gardner, founder and CEO, Code and Theory; Olivier Peyre, CEO and co-founder Kettle.

The agency is Code and Theory’s fifth acquisition.

Digital agency Code and Theory has acquired Kettle, another digital agency, adding to its existing portfolio, which includes Mediacurrent and Rhythm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

The agencies are joining forces to expand Code and Theory’s capabilities as more companies kickstart their digital transformations during the pandemic. 

While the agencies overlap on some services, Kettle will bolster Code and Theory’s content production and e-commerce capabilities, said Code and Theory CEO and founder Dan Gardner.

“[Kettle] brings more depth to some of the work we do,” Gardner said. “They have more scale than us in [content creation]. That is really additive, especially from a front end perspective.” 

Kettle, on the other hand, will be able to leverage Code and Theory’s engineering data, analytics, research and testing teams, as well as the scale of its global network. Code and Theory is owned by holding company Stagwell Group.

Being owned by a larger agency will allow Kettle to scale up on larger accounts, said Olivier Peyre, CEO and co-founder Kettle

Code and Theory plans to keep the Kettle brand and its New York, LA and San Francisco offices. Peyre will join Code and Theory’s executive team, along with Lauren Kushner, Managing Director, Kettle. 

Code and Theory’s clients include Facebook, The Guardian and Xerox; Kettle works with brands, including National Geographic, Glossier, and Discover. 

The combined agency has started pitching together but declined to name specific clients. 

“Digital agencies are always changing because digital behavior is changing,” Gardner said. “[The pandemic] has really condensed the timeline of how the world has changed.” 

Gardner declined to comment on combined revenue. Code and Theory did not respond to inquiries about the number of combined agency employees in time for publication. 

(Correction: An earlier version of this article named MDC as Code and Theory's holding company). 

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