Giant has been taken over by corporate advertising agency Burson-Marsteller, giving it access to the international stage. All Giant’s staff along with partners Neil Smith, Martyn Hey, Alan Herron and Mark Rollinson, will be part of Marsteller Advertising, which is Burson-Marsteller’s advertising and design arm in London.
The takeover, for an undisclosed sum, includes “a signing on fee for the partners and a significant raise in salary”, says Rollinson. “Staying independent we were getting none of the advantages of being partners. We were profitable but we were not making the returns we would have liked,” says Rollinson. “This [deal] takes us back to what we are best at and leaves the business management in the hands of people who are better qualified.”
The plan is to create a Europe-wide design capability with the Giant team “working its magic” on Burson-Marsteller’s blue chip client list as well as retaining its more creative projects, Rollinson says. Giant’s new owner is part of Young & Rubicam, making Giant stablemates with Landor.
Giant was approached by four interested parties in the last six months, two being design groups.