Detroit-based PR firm Lambert & Co. and Houston-based ad agency 9thWonder have formed a joint venture to team on client work and scale their capabilities. As part of the venture, Lambert has taken an undisclosed financial stake in 9thWonder.
Also as part of the deal, Lambert will serve as the PR arm of 9thWonder, while the latter’s internal PR team are now Lambert employees, effectively giving Lambert a Southern hub to its operation, which also has offices in New York and Phoenix. Lambert founder and CEO Jeff Lambert has joined the 9thWonder Board.
While the companies are now partners via the joint venture, they remain separate entities.
One early project has 9thWonder's marketer-focused consumer experience team working with Lambert's board and management-focused diversity and inclusion arm Equalsign to develop a comprehensive diverse markets offering.
For 9thWonder, the deal marks an alternative path to growth from its ongoing M&A and organic growth strategies. “We’ll keep building 9thWonder capabilities by incorporating the level of specialization we can’t create as efficiently from the ground up internally,” says company CEO Jose Lozano. “Some will be partnerships, others will be acquisitions. It’s part of serving the combined client urgency for the right combinations of specialization at scale.”
He sees “like-mindedness” with Lambert in terms of business strategy and approach to market. “Together, we can bring best-in-class expertise to our client rosters, and new scale and significance for our teams.”
Added Lambert: “Jose and the 9thWonder team are a perfect complement to our offerings in PR, investor relations, crisis communications and diversity consulting, and their office network is a hand-glove fit with our regional hubs in Michigan, Phoenix and New York.” 9thWonder has offices in Houston, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Vietnam.
“We both have an active M&A strategy that we believe will be compelling to owner entrepreneurs looking for an alternative to the agency networks,” Lambert noted.