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We are an ambitious agency and the acquisition of Tsuko reflects our continued desire to grow the business year on year

Top 10 UK design consultancy Emperor has acquired Edinburgh and London based brand agency Tsuko to launch a brand consultancy division that will complement its corporate communications and digital offer.

It is the first acquisition for Emperor, which has grown organically over the past decade to employ more than 90 people in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh. With over 200 clients, including Stagecoach, Cunard, Man Group and Cairn Energy, Emperor is one of the largest corporate reporting consultancies with an ever-expanding full service digital capability.

The Tsuko team, which brings research, brand strategy and identity, and campaign planning expertise, represents an exciting channel for future growth, and will create recruitment opportunities immediately.

Susanna Freedman, the founder and Managing Director of Tsuko, will join the Board of Emperor and head up the newly formed brand division. The move sees all Tsuko employees transferring to Emperor to create a combined entity.

Both award-winning organisations, they believe that their collective strengths form a formidable force in the marketplace. With the skills and capabilities to build effective brand and corporate communication their ambitions reach out across the UK and internationally.

Steve Kemp, founding director of Emperor commented:

“We are an ambitious agency and the acquisition of Tsuko reflects our continued desire to grow the business year on year. Since we started nearly 15 years ago, we have built up tremendous creative capabilities, serving more than 200 clients both in the UK and internationally. By bringing Tsuko on board we instantly magnify our ability to provide strategic advice and consultancy services, deepening our working relationship with existing clients while opening up new business opportunities.

“Brand awareness and brand engagement are fundamental to every business and while branding has always been an important element of our work, we believe that with Susanna and Tsuko’s expertise we can capitalise on the opportunities to advise and work with clients to a far greater level.

“We have been working very successfully with Tsuko over the past few months. With this agreement we will now launch a dedicated brand consultancy division which will have in-depth knowledge and experience and an international reach.”

Susanna Freedman set up Tsuko in 1998 and has nurtured its development into a leading brand agency with The University of Edinburgh, Land Securities, UK India Business Council and the Association of MBAs among its clients. She said:

“This is a tremendous endorsement of Tsuko’s expertise and recognition that we have grown into an agency of real strength and influence. Having just won a DBA Design Effectiveness Award, to see our experience and skills form the basis of Emperor’s brand division is very satisfying. I am confident that all Tsuko clients, many of whom we have worked with over several years, will see the value of this move.

“By joining forces, Tsuko’s clients will have access to an unrivalled depth of design execution and digital expertise.

“Our established Brand Thinking Programme helps organisations unpack and validate their promise, values and beliefs, personality, culture and behaviour. Communicating these effectively internally and externally is at the core of all that we do. To be given the chance to bring our experience to a large UK and international agency is very exciting for all of us.”

Notes to Editors:

• Emperor is a market leading Top 10 design and communications agency (rated by Design Week), specialising in corporate and digital communications. It was founded in 1996 and remains a private limited company, operating from studios in London, Edinburgh and Birmingham.

• Tsuko was established in 1998. It is a brand consultancy and design agency combined and its expertise spans research, brand strategy and identity, campaign planning, design, advertising and marketing.
• It is a brand agency, with the expertise to create, articulate, develop, promote and build brands using appropriate disciplines to deliver on clients' business objectives.
• The company has undertaken major brand, communications and campaign projects for an extensive client list including Land Securities, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Children 1st, The Ryder Cup, Investors in People, Red Bull, Stobo Castle Health Spa, SPT (Strathclyde Partnership for Transport), Scotmid, Victim Support, UK India Business Council, VisitScotland, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Johnston Carmichael, University of Strathclyde, Edinburgh Business School (Heriot-Watt University) and University of Edinburgh. < <> >

12 March 2012

For further information please contact:

Elizabeth Lambley, Indigo, 0131 554 1230,

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