Essence Digital Acquires Black Bag, Eyes US Growth


NEW YORK (September 17, 2012) – Essence Digital announced today that it has acquired San Francisco-based media agency Black Bag Advertising in a move that signals the agency’s ambitious growth plans for the US. The addition of a West Coast headquarters stems from Essence Digital’s desire to deepen its commitment to its US clients, to build on the success of its New York operation, and to expand its client base across the US.

“Expansion in the US is critical to our growth strategy and we expect this acquisition to be the first of a number,” said Matt Isaacs, Chief Executive Officer of Essence Digital. “The fit between Essence Digital and Black Bag Advertising is perfect; we share the same insight and innovation-driven approach to client work, as well as the same cultural ethos. We are excited about what our combined skills and experience will enable us to achieve in the future.”

With a number of clients headquartered in the Bay Area, Essence Digital’s arrival on the West Coast is the logical next step in the agency’s growth plan. The independent digital shop counts Google, eBay, and Expedia among its global clients and in the US is the digital media agency of record for Google, while also providing services for YouTube. It’s expertise in data and technology has made Essence a leader in the digital space in Europe since its founding in London in 2005. Offices on both American coasts have Essence positioned to mirror its stunning success in the European market, which includes recently being ranked No. 1 inThe Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200, which identifies Britain’s private firms with the fastest-growing overseas sales.

“I am extremely excited to be welcoming Eric [Yang] and his team to Essence,” said Richard Mooney (pictured left), Partner & Managing Director of North America for Essence Digital. “Over the years they have built a fantastic digital offering and delivered great results for their clients. I am looking forward to working with them to further build Essence Digital’s North American presence and position.”

Black Bag Advertising is an analytics and results driven media agency co-founded in 2004 by Yang to provide media strategy, planning and buying, campaign management and analysis to clients in the automotive, banking, insurance, retail, and consumer packaged goods industries.

“We have always aspired to take our approach beyond the US and becoming part of Essence Digital will enable us to fulfill this ambition,” said Yang (pictured right), who serves as Black Bag Advertising’s CEO. “The team at Essence is pushing boundaries in the digital advertising space, working with some of the world’s most exciting companies in Google, eBay, Ancestry, and eHarmony, and we cannot wait to play our part in driving the agency’s continued growth.”

About Essence Digital

Essence Digital is a digital agency based in London and New York, delivering work for clients across Europe, North America, and beyond. They are the digital agency of record for sophisticated clients such as Google, eBay, and Expedia, clients that are at the leading edge of the digital marketplace. It’s their unique challenges that inspire Essence Digital to go beyond traditional marketing approaches, mixing cutting-edge technology (often their own) with shrewd business brains and inventive creativity.

In the past year Essence Digital won a Bronze Effie Award for their work on the “Web Is What You Make Of It” Google Chrome campaign, was ranked No. 2 in Media Momentum’s “Top 20 Larger Digital Company in Europe” list, No. 5 Media (No. 1 independent) agency in NMA’s 2012 Top 100, and No. 1 in The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200.

About Black Bag Advertising

Founded in 2004 by Eric Yang and Trevor Wright, Black Bag Advertising (BBA) is a digital media strategy, planning and buying agency based in San Francisco. BBA focuses on analytics, results and innovation and buys digital media for clients including VSP,, Sungevity, and Kapitall.



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