Match Marketing Group splits into two agencies, bucking consolidation trend

Public Label executive team
Public Label executive team

The North American experiential and shopper agency is dividing into two shops to make its offering clearer to clients

While many agencies are consolidating, North American consumer engagement agency Match Marketing Group is going the other direction.

The agency, which does integrated creative, shopper marketing, experiential and analytics for clients, said Tuesday it will split into two new agencies: Public Label and Match Retail. 

Public Label will focus on experiential, integrated and shopper marketing for clients including Progressive, adidas, Fujifilm and Mars Wrigley, and will be based out of Boulder, Co. and Canada. Match Marketing Group executive creative director Eric Moncaleano will oversee creative, Brian Kittelson will be EVP of brand strategy and commercialization, Anne Dean will be SVP of marketing Solutions and Gary Westgate will be VP of creative.

Match Retail will focus on sales, merchandising and branded retail. Managing directors Vanessa Schnekenburger and Greg Quick will co-lead the agency, which has clients including LG, Nespresso, Danone and L’Oreal, out of Toronto.

The two agencies will operate independently under Matching Marketing Group, which was acquired by private equity firm Southfield Capital in 2018.

The reorg, which has been underway for more than a year, aims to make the agency’s offerings clearer and more accessible in the market, said Match Marketing Group CEO Brian Cohen, who was brought on by Southfield in 2019 to lead the new strategy. 

“The organization was good at what they did, but confusing to the marketplace,” Cohen said. “We wanted to make sure our value proposition is clear, relevant, current and one step ahead.”

Splitting the agency into two not only creates a more coherent offering for clients, but a clearer career path for talent. “This allows us, from an internal perspective, to provide a better foundation for career mapping and give a greater sense of purpose,” Cohen added.

Operating as two agencies will also allow Match to invest in key growth areas of each business, such as digital and analytics at Match Retail, and data and technology at Public Label. Each agency now has “clarity and purpose” when it comes to capabilities and resources, Cohen said.

But beyond different email addresses, clients won’t see any real substantive changes. The agencies  will continue sharing back office functions, including finance, HR and legal, and work closely together on shared accounts.

Ultimately, the goal is “not trying to be everything to everybody,” but meet more specific client needs directly.

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