You & Mr Jones is changing its name to The Brandtech Group, a move it says is in-line with its growth from a start-up six years ago to a group with "over half a billion in revenue" and more than 5,000 employees.
When Jones founded the company in 2015, he used the term "brandtech" to describe the ways technology could connect brands with people beyond traditional advertising, and how it could help companies do their marketing better, faster and cheaper.
Explaining the decision to rebrand, he said: "When I created the group six years ago there were two of us, and You & Mr Jones seemed like a great name for a tiny start-up.
"We're now the world's number one enterprise-level marketing technology group, and the largest global digital partner for some of the world's biggest brands, we're over half a billion [dollars] in revenue, have more than 5,000 employees, 18 senior partners, and brand-tech has gone from being an idea to being a huge category. So I felt it was time to reflect that by changing the name of the company."
In the years since its foundation, the role of global marketers has changed dramatically, Jones argued, with a shift away from the traditional TV marketing playbook towards digital, mobile and technology.
Jones has sought to cater to evolving demands by acquiring companies in disruptive, fast-growing sectors. Notable deals have included buying in-housing specialist Oliver and creative shop Gravity Road.
All entities that previously carried the You & Mr Jones name will be renamed, such as You & Mr Jones Media becoming Brandtech Media, while the individual agencies will retain their existing brand names.
The decision to rebrand the parent company follows speculation that Jones might be considering a stock market flotation.
Asked if that is a possibility, he told Campaign: "To be honest, we have a lot of options, this is one of the great things about how well the business is doing.
"We could remain private, we could make a major game-changing acquisition, we could do another round and raise our Series C [funding] or we could IPO. All of those things are potential options for us moving forward.
"As one of my bosses once said, it's easy to run a business when times are tough as there's only one strategy: to cut costs. It's much harder when things are great as there are so many different choices."
He added that the rebrand does not affect his own role: “When I said we were changing name someone asked me if this meant I was leaving the company! Absolutely not! I couldn’t be more excited about the future.”
To mark its name change, The Brandtech Group is minting the You & Mr Jones logo into an NFT (non-fungible token) and then fractionalising it into multiple tokens that will be distributed to agency employees.
The idea is that the tokens will come with voting rights on charitable donations totaling $100,000 that the group will then make.
Jones has also penned a founder's letter—entitled "The metaverse is a giant overhyped nothing burger with no future"—to coincide with the launch.
The upshot of the piece is that the metaverse is far from a "nothing burger". The letter looks at seven trends from how the metaverse will change the world and what Web3 means, to how the death of the mobile phone will herald the arrival of smart glasses.
The Brandtech Group has grown throughout the pandemic. Organic revenue rose more than 50% in the first nine months of 2021, after bucking the coronavirus slump in 2020 when it grew 27% while the “big six” agency holding companies all suffered declines.
Jones, a former global chief executive of Havas, has previously claimed the traditional holding company model is no longer fit for purpose and described brand tech as a pioneering way of using technology to do marketing better—in a similar way that fintech has shaken up financial services.