Nick Emery, the former global chief executive of Mindshare, part of
PLC’s GroupM ad-buying unit, is joining You & Mr Jones Inc. as a founding partner of the marketing firm’s newly launched media division.
You & Mr Jones provides digital and mobile technology services for marketers and helps brands take more control of marketing work that is often outsourced to ad agencies. It said it would arm the new media division, which will work with clients to manage their ad spending, with $300 million to fund acquisitions of companies and technologies as well as to build some of its own.
Some of the capital will come from the $260 million in Series B funding that You & Mr Jones closed earlier this year. The round, which valued the firm at $1.36 billion, was raised partly to build the media division, according to David Jones, the company’s founder and chief executive.
The company’s organic net revenue grew 27% in 2020, Mr. Jones said, without providing a dollar figure.
“We believe we can build a media business that is several hundred million dollars in revenue over the next five years—and that’s if we get it half right,” said Mr. Jones, a former CEO of the French ad holding company Havas. “If we really deliver on this, there’s no reason why we can’t build a business that does north of a billion dollars in revenue.”
The launch of You & Mr Jones’s media division comes as marketers are rethinking how they plan, spend and measure their media investments. Marketers are intent on using data to precisely target consumers and determine campaigns’ effectiveness, particularly as consumers spend more time and make more purchases on online platforms. Meanwhile, new privacy rules from
Google will limit the ability to use established methods of tracking consumers online and place more importance on data that marketers can collect directly from consumers.
Those dynamics change how brands should approach their media planning and buying, Mr. Jones and Mr. Emery said, adding that prices can only be one factor.
The new media division will aim to embed teams within clients’ organizations and build operations, similar to the work that You & Mr Jones has done with marketers on bringing their content businesses in-house.
Mr. Emery said he would look to acquire companies and technologies in a range of areas that can affect ad spending, including tools that improve ad creative on the fly, data privacy, and shoppable ads and user experiences. As the division’s first hire, he also plans to staff up, he said.
A longtime chief executive of Mindshare, Mr. Emery was fired after a video meeting during which he brought a laptop into the men’s bathroom at a Mindshare office, The Wall Street Journal previously reported. “There was nothing sinister or salacious or exposed about the actions that led to my dismissal,” Mr. Emery said at the time.
In joining You & Mr Jones, the longtime executive hopes to start a new chapter by elevating the often unglamorous media side of the advertising industry.
“Media is the byword for cheapness in trading and transactions, and not about revenue creation and building something different and exciting,” Mr. Emery said. “It should be the most creative and innovative business to be in.”
Write to Sahil Patel at email@example.com
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