Grey Group acquires independent agency, Famous, in Belgium

LONDON, July 11, 2016

Grey, Adweek Global Agency of the Year, is strengthening its presence in the Benelux region, having acquired a majority stake in Brussels based ‘Famous’, one of the largest independent advertising agencies in Belgium.

Famous will rebrand as ‘FamousGrey’, furthering the agency network’s position as a provider of full-service marketing solutions in a market which has increasing creative reputation and influence.

A full service agency with digital at its heart, Famous has been operating for 15 years. Most recently the 80 strong agency has been named ‘Media Marketing’ Agency of the Year, as a result of their creative and business successes.

David Patton, President and CEO of GREY EMEA, said “Famous continually ranks highly amongst the best performing creative agencies in Belgium, having won at Cannes Lions, Effie and Eurobest award ceremonies. Grey’s acquisition of Famous signals a meeting of both minds and philosophies. With half of Grey’s ‘Famously Effective’ ambition in the agency name, Famous mirrors not only Grey’s strong creative reputation, but also its agency culture.”

Patton continued, “This acquisition signals our commitment to continued growth in Western Continental Europe. In view of the recent Brexit referendum, it’s imperative we actively seek to accelerate our expansion across key EU markets. Brussels sits at the heart of the EU and it’s now critical we have a strong agency presence in that city.”

Famous is led by an experienced management team headed by Marc Fauconnier, Founder & CEO and ACC Board Member. Fauconnier said of the acquisition, “I am very proud that Famous has joined forces with Grey in the heart of Europe. We see this new partnership as a recognition of the quality of our work, both creatively and technologically. Grey’s track-record of leveraging creativity to generate commercial growth is second to none. It is not only a distinguished and multi-award winning agency, but also one with a strong culture of creativity. We got to know Grey as a network of entrepreneurial and passionate people, where we feel perfectly at home and are excited to adopt Grey as our new family name, to become FamousGrey.”

About Grey

Grey is the advertising network of Grey Group, which is led by James R. Heekin III, Chairman and CEO. Grey Group ranks among the largest global communications companies. Its parent company is WPP (NASDAQ : WPPGY). Under the banner of “Grey Famously Effective Since 1917,” the agency serves a blue-chip roster of many of the world’s best known companies: Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Kellogg’s, Pfizer, Canon, 3M, NFL, Boehringer Ingelheim, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Nestlé, Papa John’s and T.J. Maxx. Grey was named ADWEEK’s “Global Agency of the Year” for 2015.

About WPP

WPP is the world’s largest communications services group with billings of US$73 billion and revenues of US$19 billion. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs 194,000 people (including associates and investments) in over 3,000 offices
across 112 countries.

About Famous

Famous is Belgium’s ‘Media Marketing’ Agency of the Year 2015. The agency employs 80 people, offering specialists for every discipline the advertiser of today needs. Famous creates campaigns for national and international companies such as Engie, Belgian Rail, Mediafin, VRT, AB-Inbev, Quickstep, Ixina and Thomas Cook. This year Famous won three bronze Lions at Cannes. Famous Relations, a sister agency of Famous which offers a wide range of PR services, is also part of the deal with Grey, but keeps its original name.