Fusion Group, an Australian marketing services company headquartered in Melbourne, has taken a majority stake in Eat Creative, an independent agency with a presence in Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Both Fusion and Eat are looking to grow their business in Asia-Pacific. Fusion consists of 10 agencies and has a focus on retail. It also offers strategic and creative services. Eat was founded in 2000 by Steve Martin, Alison Jambert and Ayako Chujo. It works with a combination of local and international brands.
Eat’s clients include the building and homewares company Lixil, Peninsula Hotels, Bloomberg, Norweigian Cruise Line and Almac Group. Fusion works with Nike, Adidas, Mars and L’Oréal.
Eat’s directors will retain their existing roles and assume leadership roles at Fusion, where they will report to Simon Norman, chief executive.
Martin said he expected the move to enable Eat to take on larger-scale, longer-term work. “One of the challenges as a small independent is that bigger companies are interested in what we have to say and do but won’t commit because of the size” he said. “Being part of a larger group with the ability to provide delivery and logistics across Asia-Pacific is going to be attractive to people and mean we are more established, with a broader footprint.”
He added that Fusion would benefit from Eat’s experience of the Japanese market, which is known to be challenging. “What we have to do is maintain the independence that allows us to have local knowledge on the ground and allows the resources of Fusion to fit this market.”
He said it would be a learning experience for both sides. “What we’re hoping is that it’s going to allow us to work at a higher level within organisations, and use more of our skills to do more for those clients.”