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Independent marketing agency iris today announced its first acquisition after 9 strong years of international organic growth. The acquisition of management consultancy firm Concise is a move aimed at developing deeper business partnerships with clients. The deal signals the introduction of a new integrated agency model, which addresses clients’ broader business issues beyond traditional marketing services.

Concise works across a number of industries delivering strategic change for clients that include Costa Coffee, Intercontinental Hotels, AstraZeneca and Fitness First. Concise is considered a specialist in the leisure and gaming sector and works frequently with private equity firms looking to grow or acquire leisure and retail assets.

The terms of the £5m deal are based on an innovative ‘earn-in’ model rather than the standard advertising ‘earn out’ structure. This innovative approach links the future wealth of the Concise business with that of iris thereby ensuring the alignment of both iris and Concise going forward.

iris is seeking to offer more breadth, depth and value by forging relationships further upstream in its clients’ business strategies. By placing greater emphasis on the fundamentals of business performance, iris hopes to become an integral development partner and so deliver more relevant, more rewarding and more creative work.

“The integrated agency model of the future has to be about more than just communications to have a long term effect on a client’s business. Integration is about business partnership and we want to become inseparable from our key clients because of the difference we make, the value we add and our energising effect on their perspective and performance. Concise gets to the heart of clients’ business needs and our relationship with them allows us to develop a deeper understanding of where we can add value”, said Ian Millner CEO and founder of iris.

Benjamin Chillcot, co-founder and joint managing director of Concise said, “We are a dynamic and ambitious company that shares a similar culture and ethos to iris. Our shared values and ambitions make us perfect partners to deliver services that meet the ever changing needs of our clients”.

The deal is part of ambitious growth plans for iris, which last year secured multi million pound interest free funding from the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Entrepreneur Challenge to kick start a programme of acquisitions and aid further global expansion. iris intends to continue to diversify by both discipline and geography and has signalled interest in a number of markets including Brazil, Hong Kong, Russia, Germany and South Africa.

The micro network currently has offices in the key hubs of North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific which service a global client base that includes Sony Ericsson, Shell, adidas and ING. Concise’s business problem solving capabilities will be central to iris’ offering which includes advertising, PR, digital, direct marketing, sales promotion and experiential and the service will be rolled out globally.

Iris has grown 50% every year since it was started up in 1999 and has a turnover of over £42 million. Built on a co-operative model with a significant amount of the profits being shared among its 450 employees, iris was started up in response to what the founders saw as the mediocrity of the traditional big networks.

Concise was co-founded in January 2002 by joint managing directors Benjamin Chilcott, James George and Josh Thomson, with the mission of being the antidote to the big dominant players.


About iris:

iris is an independent, integrated marketing agency working across all media and all disciplines.

Working with an enviable roster of global clients that include Shell, Sony Ericsson, ING, adidas and Coca Cola, the agency is committed to ‘Media Anything, Idea Everything’ – a creative vision that encompasses iris’ interpretation of integrated marketing. iris provides true integration through its key divisions iris Digital, iris Direct, iris Experience, iris PR and iris Consulting.

iris prides itself on two key abilities; seeing the potential and exposing mediocrity. These two objectives have guided the agency’s work since conception, combined with a concerted effort to be the best agency their clients have ever worked with, and the only agency that truly talented people want to work for.

In the UK iris has been ranked 7th Nationally by the 2008 Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’, 1st in Direct Marketing and Sales Promotion by Marketing (2008), and voted agency of the year by Marketing, Marketing Week, MCCA, and ISP.

Established in 1999 by Ian Millner and Stewart Shanley, the iris group has shown considerable development in the last eight years, employing 450 people globally and growing by at least 50% year on year. Following the success of its London operation, iris is now in the advance stages of establishing itself as an independent global micro-network which now has offices in London, Manchester, New York, LA, Miami, New Delhi, Singapore and Sydney, with further expansion planned in the near future.

For more information please see

About Concise

Concise is a boutique management consultancy that delivers profit-enhancing strategic change for business clients that include Costa Coffee, Intercontinental Hotels, AstraZeneca and Fitness First.

Concise also works with private equity firms looking to grow or acquire leisure & retail assets. It has provided transaction support to Duke Street Capital, Darwin, Cinven, Permira, Advent International among others.

Concise was founded in January 2002 by joint managing directors James George, Benjamin Chilcott and Josh Thomson.

Like iris, they set up the agency as an antidote to the big, dominant players with an emphasis on delivering real life insight.

It is considered a specialist in the leisure and gaming sector - an area under serviced and widely misunderstood by their competitors – and their services are often used by private equity firms looking to grow or acquire leisure and retail assets.

Concise employs ten people and is based in Putney, South West London.

For more information please contact:
Avril Canavan - 020 7654 7621 / 07946416607

For more information please see

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Iris Worldwide in the following categories: Business & Finance, Media & Marketing, for more information visit