The founder of digital agency Daylight Partnerships has dismissed any concern the business will lose its identity and become swallowed by its new owners following its acquisition by PR firm Ruder Finn.
David Ko admitted there are legitimate concerns that smaller and more nimble agencies may lose their speed to market when they become a cog in a larger operation.
But he said Ruder Finn Asia chairman Jean-Michael Dumont was aware of Daylight’s need to operate “unhindered”.
Ko’s comments came after Ruder Finn acquired Daylight Partnership for an undisclosed sum in move that will see the Hong Kong-based digital marketing and analytics consultancy become part of Ruder Finn Innovation Studios.
Daylight Partnerships, founded by Ko in 2013, will be rebranded as RFI Daylight with Ko taking the role of senior vice president of RFI Studios Asia.
Asked if the business may lose its ability to be nimble as part of a bigger company, and lose the point of difference that made it such an attractive acquisition in the first place, Ko told Mumbrella Asia: “I come from large agencies so this is a valid concern, but Jean-Michel has been visionary in the way he’s appreciated that Ruder Finn needs to nurture digital capabilities in a way that is unhindered and nimble.
“RFI Daylight will remain a separate company, yet seamlessly integrate with the communications teams on campaigns. Of course in a few years’ time, if we do our jobs right, this will become moot and there will be no need for any kind of separation.”
The independent Hong Kong-based agency has been working with Ruder Finn for the past two years on a number of projects for multinational brands, including Porsche, Cartier, Nestle and Bayer.
It was during this time that talks over a potential deal first emerged, Ko said.
“Ruder Finn and Daylight started partnering on campaigns two years ago and the conversations started then,” he explained. ” I felt that was too early in Daylight’s history to be acquired, but over the past two years our companies have grown so close together culturally and businesswise that it just makes sense.
“Today’s announcement signifies an eagerly awaited move into the next stage of our growth,” he added.
Ko will lead a 50-strong workforce in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India and will specialise in consumer, luxury, retail, healthcare and technology.
RFI Daylight will also lead a global analytics operation in Asia and the US, which will be available to all Ruder Finn’s clients regardless of the markets in which they operate.
Ruder described Daylight’s insights and analytics teams as its “competitive edge”. Its products including predictive analytics, influencer mapping and social listening tools, while virtual reality and augmented reality is also among its areas of speciality.
The agency lists Fitbit, L’Oreal, Prudential, Digital Domain, Lee Kum Lee and Swire Properties as among its clients.
Ruder Finn chief executive Kathy Bloomgarden said the acquisition will enable the company to deliver “hyper relevant insights and activations on a macro and micro level”.
“Having previously collaborated with David and Daylight Partnerships on influencer mapping and crisis simulations, we are delighted to now officially welcome his team and expertise to the Ruder Finn network,” she said.
Ruder Finn Asia chairman Dumont added: “The communications world is moving and changing at such a rapid rate and we now see ourselves as integrated marketing communications.
“It’s been an amazing experience working with David and his team. They are a perfect fit and will bring amazing value, support and strength to RFI’s regional network.”