Creative firms merge to become full service agency

A BIRMINGHAM creative firm has merged with its sister agency to launch a new full service offering.

One Black Bear, based at Fazeley Studios, n has merged with social media agency Shadow Giants in a move designed to capitalise on new business opportunities.

Owners Jon Harrison and Richard Elwell founded the business in 2003 and built it up into an agency employing 24 people across services including creative, strategies, content production, digital and social specialisms.

PR services have also been added into the mix to link together all facets of One Black Bear and create a full service communications package.

The new PR arm is headed by Kelly O’Hanlon, formerly of WPR and a former CIPR Young Professional of the Year finalist.

Joining the firm’s three fellow directors, the agency’s expertise now spreads across creative, marketing, digital, design, PR and social services.

On the digital side, the operation is headed by Amy Eddy, who was managing director of the former Shadow Giants team.

She is joined by Amy Gouldson, who heads up Account Management. She started her career at One Black Bear almost five years ago and has worked her way up the ranks to oversee the majority of accounts in the agency.

The merger also sees Kate Hartshorn join the agency as Associate Planning Director to lead its strategic output. She spent 15 years at Big Communications, most recently as managing partner of the Leicester office and has worked across a number of blue chip clients, including WKD, Domino’s and Joules Clothing.

“The time was right to make a change to our business,” said Mr Elwell.

“Since we first formed in 2003 with our first venture, The Unagency, Jon and I have identified changing requirements within the communications industry and have adapted our business model in response to the evolving needs of marketeers.”

The firm has now been selected as the lead creative agency for Birmingham-based transport group, National Express. Other accounts include University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The Camping and Caravan Club, youth homelessness charity St Basils, Honda Motorcycles and Marketing Birmingham.