Bristol retail and point-of-purchase consultancy Fords Design Group has been acquired by the privately owned German point-of-purchase company Arno.
Fords will retain its name and control of its day-to-day operations, according to Fords’ chief executive and managing director Martin Law. Law will now sit on the Arno European board.
Fords director David Morris will be promoted to managing director of the company, allowing Law time to focus on the international outlook of the group. Fords will also be looking to increase its number of staff.
The design group has been in partnership discussions for the past two years, in response to what Law calls the “shift in brand and retailer global marketing”.
“We believe that we will now be part of the largest dedicated point-of-purchase group in Europe,” says Law. Arno already has a strong presence in Germany and Italy and is looking for other collaborators. It recently set up Arno Interactive.
Law says the Arno group will be looking to act in unison throughout the world. “We will be bringing our top creative and marketing minds together for big European projects,” he adds. “Now we can get on to pitch lists which we couldn’t reach before.”
Law believes Arno and Fords are well-matched, and says Fords wanted to avoid being swallowed up by an ad agency behemoth.