Alison Weissbrot
Sep 8, 2021

Media.Monks snaps up Taco Bell’s new ‘culture AOR’

Los Angeles-based Cashmere joins Martin Sorrell’s digital agency group.

Media.Monks snaps up Taco Bell’s new ‘culture AOR’

Remember when Taco Bell last month, in an industry first, hired an indie agency called Cashmere as its “culture agency of record”?

Now the Los Angeles-based agency is merging with Media.Monks (still known on the public market as S4 Capital), the newly rebranded digital agency group helmed by Martin Sorrell. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cashmere was founded in 2003 by Ted Chung and Seung Chung. The full-service agency bills itself as a “lifestyle marketing collective” that helps brands integrate with music, art, lifestyle, sports and fashion. The company has 150 employees and works with clients including Google, Facebook, BMW, Adidas, Netflix, WarnerMedia, Disney, Amazon and Apple.

“Cashmere is excited to bring an international vision of culture, fluidity, and brand loyalty to our clients and a broader set of new colleagues,” said Cashmere chairman and cofounder Ted Chung in a statement. “From the first interactions with everyone at Media.Monks, we were impressed with their responsiveness, ambition and disruptive approach, which aligns with our philosophy of evolving the status quo.”

Taco Bell hired Cashmere, which has expertise in driving cultural conversations on social media, to help it connect with younger audiences. Keeping its creative relationship with Deutsch LA in place, the new AOR demonstrated clients are looking for specialist agencies that are fluent in online culture outside the traditional creative agency scope.

“We are thrilled to bring our blend of creativity and cultural insight to the team at Media.Monks,” said Cashmere president and chief creative officer Ryan Ford in a statement. “Our unique ability to positively impact culture and more importantly, passion to push the culture forward, merges seamlessly with Media.Monks’ tremendous track record of producing innovative high-quality work. Together, we will continue to produce undeniably dope campaigns on behalf of our clients and colleagues...with even more global impact.”

Cashmere is the latest agency to merge with Media.Monks, which has been expanding its global footprint aggressively since its inception in 2018. The company started out with MediaMonks and MightyHive as its banner brands for content and data and tech, respectively, and in August merged the two under a single brand name and “unitary structure.” Media.Monks now employs more than 6,000 people across 31 countries.

“Cashmere’s creative chops and their ability to tap into contemporary culture for their clients are qualities we have long admired, which is why it’s so exciting to welcome them to the family,” said Wesley ter Haar, Media.Monks cofounder and S4 Capital executive director, in a statement.

Media.Monks and Cashmere were unavailable for interviews.

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