Influential expands with Young Bright and Grey creative deal

Influential has today completed the acquisition of the North West-based creative branding agency Young Bright and Grey.

The business will become part of the wider Influential Agency Group and retain the Young Bright and Grey brand. The combined company employs 27 people and will operate from two existing offices in Manchester and one in Liverpool, with the brand specialism sitting alongside the agency’s established service lines in PR, Stakeholder Communications and Insight.

Viv Griffith and James Summerscales, who founded Young Bright and Grey in 2020, are joining with the board of Influential and have taken an equity stake in the group.

Sara Wilde-McKeown, managing director of Influential said: “We’ve been working with Young Bright and Grey as our preferred partner on creative and branding campaigns for over 12 months, and there’s an obvious affinity between us. We have experienced first-hand the quality and strategic vision they bring to their creative and visual work. It fits perfectly alongside our own insight-led approach. Young Bright and Grey will give us a much deeper expertise in creative branding and digital marketing. The acquisition allows us as a group to provide an integrated service across all disciplines.”

James Summerscales, co-founder of Young Bright and Grey, said: “Having got to know Influential over the past 12 months, we understand how strong their current offering is and we’re all excited about the synergies of combining forces. We set up Young, Bright and Grey to really challenge the marketplace across Brand, Creative and Digital. By integrating with Influential’s current communications and research teams it only adds to our ability to do this. Both Viv and I are relishing continuing the growth that Young, Bright and Grey has seen over the last year, and with our partnership already seeing a number of amazing client wins, it feels like we are off to a great start.”

In the first year of operation, Young, Bright and Grey delivered projects for a range of international tech, banking and fashion brands, along with healthcare and transport projects closer to home. Viv has over 25 years’ industry experience, including campaigns for the United Nations, Sony, DAF Truks and Virgin Media. James has spent over 10 years’ in creative agencies, supporting brands that include BNP Paribas, Flawless, and the Manchester tech company Wakelet.

The existing teams at Influential are led by agency’s co-founders Chris Hulme, PR, and Karen Swan, who leads on Marketing Insight. Sara Wilde-McKeown says Influential Agency Group will take further steps to build the business by adding other specialist divisions with similar investments.

Along with the acquisition, the 2021 highlights for Influential include an extension of its brief for the business advisory group Grant Thornton LLP from the North and Midlands to cover all UK regions. The Insight team also secured industry awards for an NHS awareness raising campaign – ‘Getting Under the Skin – The impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.’

Influential also partnered with to create the first Invest North conference, which is returning in January 2022 after a successful debut during lockdown.

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