Dentsu Aegis Network North strengthens offering with the acquisition of integrated creative agency BJL

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Dentsu Aegis Network today announces the acquisition of Manchester-based creative agency, BJL. 

Since launching in 1987, BJL has grown to be one of the biggest and most awarded independent creative agencies in the region, expanding into London in 2014. Today, the agency employs 75 people who work with a diverse range of both consumer and B2B clients such as Craghoppers, BASF, Pilkington, Ronseal, Skipton Building Society, Subaru Europe, Florette, Hilton and The Co-operative Bank.

BJL’s expertise in brand strategy, advertising, content production, PR, social media and CRM complements Dentsu Aegis Network’s already significant media, digital, data and technology capabilities in the region, and further strengthens the network’s ability to deliver more effective solutions for clients. 

BJL will continue to be led by Nicky Unsworth as CEO, Jackie Holt as Managing Partner and Iain Kerr as Commercial Director, who all completed a management buyout of the agency in 2004. Both the agency’s Manchester and London teams will remain in their existing offices.

Rachel McDonald, Managing Director, Dentsu Aegis Network North said: “We have worked with BJL for many years and admired both the stand-out creative work that they deliver and the impressive talent they’ve grown from their headquarters in Manchester. The addition of BJL further strengthens our offering and ability to offer true end-to-end brand solutions for our clients across creative, media, digital and technology.”

Nicky Unsworth, Chief Executive Officer, BJL added: “During our 30-year history we have enjoyed strong growth thanks to our longstanding and successful relationships with our clients as well as our unwavering commitment to delivering standout work. Having built our integrated model around the changing needs of brands and their consumers, we are ready now to embark on the next phase of our growth as part of Dentsu Aegis Network.”

Dentsu Aegis North employs 700 people across Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Newcastle, providing media, digital, creative, data and technology services for clients such as N Brown Group, Pets at Home, Thomas Cook, Halfords, and Holland & Barrett. The acquistion of BJL further demonstrates the group’s commitment to strengething capabilities across the UK.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

‑ ENDS ‑

For further information contact:

Mandy Rayment

Head of Communications, UK

T: 07824 690176


Notes to Editors:

About Dentsu Aegis Network

Part of Dentsu Inc., Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of ten global network brands - Carat, Dentsu, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, mcgarrybowen, Merkle, MKTG, Posterscope and Vizeum and supported by its specialist/multi-market brands. Dentsu Aegis Network is Innovating the Way Brands Are Built for its clients through its best-in-class expertise and capabilities in media, digital and creative communications services. Offering a distinctive and innovative range of products and services, Dentsu Aegis Network is headquartered in London and operates in 145 countries worldwide with more than 47,000 dedicated specialists. 

About BJL

BJL is a 30- year-old, award winning, creative agency with offices in both Manchester and London. The current management team completed a buyout in 2004 and have continued to develop the agency, bringing PR, content creation and social media in house in 2008, and opening a London office in 2014. BJL’s hallmarks of insight led strategy, combined with award-winning creativity have remained central to their success.