Manchester-based consultancies The Chase and Hutchinson Leek are to merge.
The Chase creative director Ben Casey says the merger will allow the group to ‘widen its offer into retail and branding’ and is the logical next stage in the consultancy’s development.
According to Casey, no redundancies are expected and all staff will move into The Chase offices.
Sources close to the merger suggest it is the first step in a longer term acquisition of the group by ad agency BDH/ TBWA.
BDH/ TBWA, which has been moving towards an integrated communications offer for some time, acquired PR consultancy Staniforth in November last year. At the time BDH/ TBWA chief executive Bryn Butler said the ad agency hoped to broaden its offer to ‘provide the full gamut of communications’.
Both Casey and Hutchinson Leek managing director Bev Hutchinson deny reports of the proposed merger with BDH/ TBWA, but Casey confirms the group has had a ‘working relationship’ with the ad agency’s existing clients for some time.