Omnicom Takes Full Control Of Critical Mass

Omnicom has bought up the remaining shares in digital marketing agency Critical Mass that it did not already own, the holding company confirmed Wednesday.

Omnicom acquired 50% of the Calgary-headquartered agency in 1999 for a reported $20 million.

The holding company issued a statement saying it was “pleased to increase our majority stake in Critical Mass.”  The agency, the statement continued, “is a highly successful global digital marketing agency with a strong management team led by Dianne Wilkins, a digital veteran. They are an important asset to our portfolio of agencies and work with many of our top clients around the world." 

Earlier this year, Critical Mass took several steps to bulk up key offices.



The moves included hiring a pair of senior executives from Interpublic’s Huge—Chief Creative Officer Conor Brady and CMO Chris Hayes—to help expand the shop’s New York office. It went from an outpost with about 20 employees to a full service office and major agency hub with about 50 staffers.

Also, the agency merged its London operation with that of another Omnicom digital shop, Agency Republic. Separately, the firm added senior staff and management to its Chicago and Los Angeles offices.

"Our mission at Critical Mass is to design meaningful experiences by relentlessly focusing on the customer — improving their lives through convenience, simplicity, value, utility or entertainment,” said Dianne Wilkins, CEO of Critical Mass. “The team here is excited to now be a fully owned member of the Omnicom family. We look forward to partnering more with our sister agencies to drive digital innovation and grow our capabilities across the globe."

Separately, Omnicom confirmed that it has disposed of its majority stake in digital shop EVB, which recently relocated from San Francisco to neighboring Oakland. The holding company acquired a majority stake in the firm in 2006.

An EVB rep said the agency wanted to be independent again and started buy-back talks more than six months ago. The agreement was completed earlier this month. 

 “I can confirm that EVB is no longer part of the group,” an Omnicom rep said.

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