Engine Group Gains 'Intelligence'

UK-based communications shop Engine has acquired The Intelligence Group (IG), a millennial-focused consumer insights and consulting company, from Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

IG will be merged with Engine-owned Noise, a creative agency that develops digital products and content aimed at millennials. Together, they will provide clients with millennial-focused services ranging from research and strategy to creation and activation.

IG president Joe Kessler has been named president/CEO of the combined entity, which will be called Noise. Jamie Gutfreund, previously Chief Strategy Officer at IG, assumes the new role of Chief Marketing Officer at Noise.

Noise Co-Founder and former CEO Noah Kerner becomes nonexecutive chairman and an advisor. All other Noise and IG executives will remain in their current positions. 

The new Noise will have offices in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and a staff of nearly 100 employees. The combined company will continue to publish IG's Cassandra Report, an on-going syndicated study of young consumers for nearly two decades.

IG also brings to Noise proprietary research services, strategy consulting and a range of live presentation and ideation programs, including its Cassandra Sessions series (formerly called Trend School), which more than 1,500 executives of leading global brands have attended.

"It seems clear the marketplace is ripe for a comprehensive agency offering that combines research-driven insights and strategy with stellar creative execution and deep digital acumen to help brands engage with millennial consumers more effectively," said John Bernbach, President of Engine USA. "We believe the new Noise is just that."

Parent company Engine is an employee-owned business with 800 workers and offices in London, New York, San Francisco and Shanghai. Clients include BMW, Sky, Warburtons, Unilever, Diageo, Rolls-Royce and Tesco Mobile. 

CAA acquired IG back in 2003. The agency, originally named Youth Intelligence, was founded by trendspotter Jane Buckingham.

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