French multinational advertising and public relations company Publicis Groupe has strengthened its footprint in New Zealand with the acquisition of the country's largest independent media agency, MBM.

MBM, which has over 80 employees and offices in Auckland and Wellington, will continue to operate business as usual.

MBM will retain its branding and all services, with the managing partners – Matt Bale, Sean McCready and Alysha Delany – working collaboratively with Publicis Media New Zealand CEO Alistair Jamison.

Michael Rebelo, CEO of Publicis Groupe ANZ, said New Zealand is an important growth market for the Groupe.


Rebelo said the acquisition of MBM was the first in a series of investments the Groupe will be making in the region to further strengthen their existing brands and grow new capabilities here.

"Our future success depends on our ability to adapt at pace – structurally as an organisation – and through the behaviours of our people. We were drawn to MBM because they clearly share this vision, having continuously evolved their offering to meet the needs of an ever-changing industry," Rebelo said.

MBM's longstanding key clients include Trade Me, Z Energy, TSB, Whittaker's, VTNZ, Fisher & Paykel and Goodman Fielder. Its recent new business wins have included Burger King and Tower.

Toby Barbour, CEO of Publicis Media ANZ, said he was delighted to welcome MBM to the Publicis Media family.

"MBM is an exciting agency with a data-centric and digitally-progressive approach that has proven to be its key differentiator and strength.

"The agency is well positioned to continue to grow relationships with a broad range of clients."

MBM's managing partners said in a joint statement: "We are excited to join the Publicis Media group as MBM continues building momentum and enters its next phase of business growth. We have invested significantly in our digital and analytics capabilities over the last few years, and we have a solid foundation of fantastic local clients.

"This puts us in a great position to continue to grow into the future, with a commitment to bring success to our clients through the power of data-led communications. MBM will be led by our existing management team who remain committed to running the business for years to come.


"This new partnership combines MBM's entrepreneurial spirit and highly talented team with the scale, resources and tools of a significant international agency group, to increase our focus around data-led communications."

MBM was founded in 2010 and was named CAANZ Media Agency of the Year in 2014 and 2015.