Staff Reporters
Aug 1, 2012

Cheil acquires McKinney as part of ongoing expansion plan

GLOBAL – Cheil Worldwide has acquired US advertising agency McKinney in a move to strengthen its network in the Americas.

From left: Sawyer, Kim, Brinegar
From left: Sawyer, Kim, Brinegar

McKinney, which is based in North Carolina, will retain its name and continue to be led by Brad Brinegar as chief executive. The agency will become part of Cheil Americas, a regional network that spans the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America and Brazil.

Nack-Hoi Kim, chief executive of Cheil Worldwide, said the move would enable Cheil to offer “a significantly strengthened network of services to existing clients and to win new clients in the world’s largest ad market”.

"It will be a prime opportunity to expand our global marketing footprint and grow our business based on our international network's integrated approach," he said. "Together... I believe we will reinvent history."

Brinegar described the acquisition as “a golden opportunity to be better, bigger faster” and said that Cheil’s enthusiasm for McKinney’s “independent spirit” was a deciding factor. Buz Sawyer, chief executive of Cheil Americas, said the two companies would operate with “an ‘open source’ model based on partnership, collaboration and a shared vision for growth”.

McKinney is recognised as ‘the most effective independent advertising agency in the world’ by Effie Worldwide and Warc. Cheil is Korea’s largest agency but has invested greater efforts to building a credible global network in recent years.

In 2009, Cheil made a similar acquisition in the form of The Barbarian Group, a Boston-based boutique digital agency, and in 2008 acquired Beattie McGuinness Bungay (BMB).


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