Identity and packaging design group Smith & Milton is launching a joint venture with ad agency M&C Saatchi.
The agreement effectively sees M&C Saatchi take a 40 per cent stake in Smith & Milton’s future projects, with immediate effect, though neither group is revealing the actual size of the financial input. M&C Saatchi joint chief executive Nick Hurrell and finance director Jerry Wales will take up seats on the Smith & Milton board.
The new venture represents a move by the two groups to formalise a long-standing working agreement, in a bid to develop both businesses on a global scale.
The two companies already share a number of clients, including PPP Healthcare and supermarket chain Sainsbury’s. Joint pitching will now take place on projects “where appropriate,” says Smith & Milton chairman Howard Milton.
Smith & Milton will stick closely to its existing areas of expertise, says Milton. “We see this as the opportunity to build Smith & Milton as a major force in brand identity,” he adds.
Additions to Smith & Milton’s 20 staff are expected, but the growth will be gradual. The company will stay in its current offices in London’s Clerkenwell.
The two companies were brought together through the M&C Saatchi Village, an informal grouping of like-minded companies. “We have known each other for over a decade and wanted to formalise our relationship,” says M&C Saatchi’s Hurrell.