News | November 15th 2019

MediaPost | Code and Theory Eyes 2020 M&A, Organic Expansion

Stagwell Group agency Code And Theory which has been helping clients on transformation projects for nearly two decades will do some transforming of its own next year.

For one, New York-based C&T will finally get around to updating its own website. "For the past five years, we have developed maybe 500 websites, but never our own," jokes agency president Michael Treff.

The 500-person agency is also planning significant expansion, including upgrades and additions to its data and analytics units. And the agency intends to scale its Manilla operations, increasing its size by 50% or more next year.

M&A is also on the agenda for next year with plans to acquire several agencies in 2020, all offering services and capabilities to complement and enhance C&T's portfolio. Stagwell has previously said that it will open its pocketbook to fund bolt-on acquisitions for their portfolio companies.

C&T has also refined its leadership team in recent months. In November Ben Berentson was promoted to serve as the agency's first managing director of its New York office, which houses a staff of 250. This frees Treff up to focus on supporting the agency's operations outside of New York, including operations in San Francisco, London and the aforementioned Manila office.

Also promoted was Maud Meister, previously creative strategy director and now group director of brand (a new position) to lead the brand strategy practice, a key area of focus and growth for the agency.

And Paul Simoneschi and Silvan Reinhold were upped to group technical directors to oversee all technical projects out of C&T's New York and San Francisco offices, respectively.

Balancing the right mix of talents is one of C&T's biggest priorities, says co-founder Dan Gardner. "All we are is a collection of people," he says. He adds there really isn't anything proprietary about advertising agencies. This is why diversity of talent is a competitive advantage.

Code and Theory's evolution as an agency has tracked closely with broader industry changes, like increased competition with consultants. Take, for instance, competitive pitch reviews. When the shop first launched in 2001, competitors were digital and marketing agencies, such as Huge and RGA. Now, C&T is as likely to battle Accenture, Boston Consulting Group and Deloitte for wide-ranging transformation bids.

C&T is increasingly viewed as a utility player in Stagwell’s array of specialist shops with different capabilities, which has been facilitated in large part by an infusion of private equity support provided by Stagwell, its executives say.

While C&T leaders view Stagwell agencies as "sisters," Penn's investment and installation as CEO/Chairman of MDC Partners positions MDC shops as more like "cousins," explains Brent Buntin, CMO, C&T.

In October, for instance, MDC’s Doner "organically" requested cousin C&T’s assistance with the agency's pitch to Johnson & Johnson, ultimately helping the shop to scoop up J&J's Tylenol, Listerine, Zyrtec accounts.

That collaboration was not driven by Penn, Gardner and Treff insist. Instead, Doner saw C&T’s capabilities as being complementary to their offering and proposed the two sides collaborate. "We aren't being forced to do anything,” said Gardner. “We assessed the opportunity to see if we could add value," added Treff.

And given the end result, value appears to have been added.

by Larissa Faw, MediaPost

Continue toSays a LotNews

Says a Lot —

Latest

IB Dfeature
News — 

C&T Receives 5 Honorable Mentions | FastCo Innovation by Design

Amycarvajal
News — 

Little Black Book | 5 Minutes With... Amy Carvajal

PGIM
News — 

Campaign US | PGIM to Launch 8 Sites

Comm Arts Thumbnail
News — 

Communication Arts Names C&T Health Webpick of the Week

Black Background

How to Design for the Unknown by Alex Mamorsky

DECODE Square Logo 4 nocode
News — 

Digiday | C&T Launches Thought Leadership Publication, Decode

Mediapoststandard
News — 

MediaPost | C&T and Scout Form Code and Theory Health

Codehealth pressasset
News — 

MM&M | Corporate Siblings C&T and Scout Health Join Forces

Get in Touch

  • Find Us

    One World Trade Center,
    62nd Floor

    New York, NY 10007

    More Offices
  • Work With Us

  • Press

  • Careers

    See All Open Positions

Continue toAbout UsSays a Lot

We Are a Digital-First Creative Agency

What We Do

Code and Theory is a strategically driven, digital-first agency that lives at the intersection of creativity and technology. We solve consumer and business problems with end-to-end solutions that flex to meet the needs of today’s ever-changing digital landscape.

Our Services

We provide a range of offerings built to support the entire ecosystem.

  • Data, Analytics and Research

    Our data-driven approach enables us to understand every aspect of end-to-end consumer journeys, and powers our work from start to finish.

  • Business & Organizational Consulting

    We work with our clients not only to define and deliver products, services and communications, but also to design the business itself.

  • Transformational Technology

    We help our clients reinvent their technical infrastructure and roadmap in order to deliver for the needs of today and tomorrow.

  • Services, Platforms & Products

    We create best-in-class platforms built around both the user and the business goals, often extending into connected physical expressions.

  • Integrated Marketing

    We deliver the right messages to new and existing customers across the entire ecosystem.

Our Offices

We have locations around the world.

Join Our Team

We're not typical, and neither are you. We're always looking to hire smart, interesting and forward-thinking people.
See All Open Positions

Code and Theory is a proud member of The Stagwell Group, a private equity firm that manages investments in new media and digital marketing services. Its portfolio includes dozens of collaborative, digital-first agencies and over 9,000 employees around the world. Led by a group of agency and industry professionals, Stagwell is a group of leading companies that are insights-based, practitioner-led and collaborative by design. Learn more about Stagwell at www.stagwellgroup.com

Get in Touch

  • Find Us

    One World Trade Center,
    62nd Floor

    New York, NY 10007

    More Offices
  • Work With Us

  • Press

  • Careers

    See All Open Positions