Dare puts a Rocket (XL) in its pocket
February 27, 2013 | Chris Powell | Comments
Dare and social media marketing agency Rocket XL have combined their Toronto operations. Both agencies are owned by Vision7 International, and operate under the EDC group of companies.
The Rocket XL operation is being folded into Dare, boosting its total staff count to 27. Rocket XL also has agencies in Los Angeles (where it was established 10 years ago) and New York, both of which are unaffected by the Canadian merger.
Peter Bolt, senior vice-president and managing partner of Dare, said the move brings together two agencies that have complementary skill-sets and operating philosophies.
Rocket XL launched in Canada in 2009 with a primary focus on social, although its purview has evolved to the point where it has become what Bolt characterized as a “true digital partner” to its clients.
When Dare launched in Toronto last year, it was purpose-built to meet modern-day marketing requirements, which meant a heavy focus on digital. “We were working together and consulting with each other, so with the complementary skills we could offer to clients, [the merger] just made sense,” said Bolt.
There are no job losses as a result of the merger, said Bolt. Rocket XL vice-president and general manager Ian Barr joins Dare’s senior management team as VP of social and innovation, joining an expanded executive team that includes executive creative director Paul Little and head of strategic planning Andre Louis, who recently joined the agency from Taxi’s Toronto office.
The agency is still looking to fill four or five positions in areas including creative, technology and development and planning, said Bolt. He didn’t provide a timeline for when the positions would be filled. “For us, it’s crucially important to find the right people, so that sometimes takes a little longer,” he said.
There are no client conflicts to be resolved as a result of the merger, said Bolt. Rocket XL does bring a new client to Dare in Mondelez International, for which it had been producing digital and social work for several of its brands.
Bolt launched Dare’s Toronto office early last year, spending the first part of the year focusing on building the agency’s senior management team. Bolt said the agency began hitting its stride in the fall and has been invited to pitch on several pieces of business in the past several months.
New clients include the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and a U.S. client called GaiamTV, a subscription-based video streaming service. “We’re picking up a fair number of clients and pitching a fair bit as well,” said Bolt.