You & Mr Jones, the global brandtech group founded by David Jones, is launching a media division and has hired former Mindshare Global chief executive Nick Emery to run the business.
You & Mr Jones Media claims to have a $300m (£216m) war chest that Emery will be able to deploy as founding partner. Emery was dismissed from Mindshare after 23 years last year in response to complaints about an inappropriate “prank” by him on a video call.
The new media division is being positioned as a “totally new media model” that aims to put brands “back in control of their media” and offering transparency, technology and in-housing services.
Emery, who is British, was a founding member of Mindshare when WPP set it up in 1997 by merging the media departments of Ogilvy and JWT to form a new, standalone media agency. He became global CEO in 2012.
Mindshare grew into one of the biggest media agency networks in the world with close to $18bn in annual billings and clients such as Nike, Unilever and Facebook.
Emery said: “We will make media the most creative, trusted and dynamic business to work in across everything from Marvel to Amazon, WeChat to Pinduoduo and Discord to Shopify.
“Media is a fantastic business to be in and I am delighted to be joining You & Mr Jones who have the rare ambition to make that happen and put clients back in control, making media as it should be, different, fun, inventive and a key source of client growth.”
Ex-Havas chief executive David Jones founded You & Mr Jones in 2015. The business raised $260m at a $1.36bn valuation last year.
Emery is the second major media hire that You & Mr Jones has announced in the space of a week, after its creative production shop Gravity Road poached Mike Florence, one of the UK media industry’s most admired planners, from PHD in a global role.
You & Mr Jones' flagship investment has been a majority stake in Oliver, the in-housing specialists which runs on-site agencies for brands including Unilever.
Jones commented: “We’ve built the clear global market leader in terms of its ability to deliver enterprise-level technology marketing solutions to the world’s largest brands. We grew 27% organically in 2020, significantly outperforming both the old legacy players and the new brandtech groups. To date, we’ve done that focusing on content and data.
“We now intend to bring the same brandtech disruption to the media industry. Nick is a brilliant talent who knows exactly how to create a new model digital media company unencumbered by legacy, and we have more than $300m at our disposal to go and build that.”