Stagwell, the US-based marketing holding company, is making good on its recent pledge to grow in the Asia Pacific region through its global affiliate program through a new partnership agreement reached with Southeast Asia news publisher Coconuts Media.
Under the affiliate partnership agreement, there is no immediate cash investment. Instead, Stagwell and Coconuts will collaborate to develop and distribute an expanded media across the Coconuts network in Southeast Asia. In addition, Stagwell agencies such as 72andSunny, Forsman & Bodenfors, Allison and Partners, Assembly, Ink and others can collaborate with Coconuts’ internal marketing agency, Grove, on joint campaigns, branded content and marketing campaigns. Revenue sharing will be split on a project by project basis depending on what is involved.
Coconuts Media, founded by journalist and entrepreneur Byron Perry in 2011, has grown steadily over the past decade, bringing online news and lifestyle content to millions across eight local markets (Bali, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila). , Singapore, Yangon) including documentaries and videos for major streaming services and networks such as Discovery and Netflix.
“We are eager to collaborate with Byron and the Coconuts Media team to deliver our leading blend of digital and media services to enhance APAC’s offerings to our clients,” said Stagwell President and CEO, Mark Penn. “With the opening of APAC’s first-of-its-kind Stagwell headquarters in Singapore and the continued success of our agencies in the region, we are investing heavily in the Asia Pacific region as part of our global expansion this year.”
In November, Stagwell announced that Senior Vice President of Executive Talent, Randy Duacks, would head the APAC office as Managing Director starting this month to drive “rapid growth” and expansion. The Coconuts Partnership is among the first such regional efforts from its new regional base. Duax . says Asia Pacific Campaign The two sides were mutually attracted, with Coconuts already on his radar for many years before connecting through the affiliate program.
“We are very passionate about coconut,” Doakes says. “For us, they’re in a lot of different markets, they’re deep in social commerce, they have first-party data. It fills in a lot of the gaps that some clients in this part of the world have been looking for. They’re very cooperative, and that’s something we’ve been looking for.”
While it is not uncommon for media publishers to collaborate with a single advertising holding company, the deal should allow Coconuts to tap into Stagwell’s media services and research resources and enable the company to reach a global client base that it may not have previously had. The latter may be especially important as Grove, Coconuts Brands’ in-house creative studio, becomes an increasingly important focus for the company.
“With our publishing roots as a foundation, we are growing our creative services, media buying and customer service business as a modern creative agency,” says Berry, CEO of the company. “Partnering with a competitive marketing network like Stagwell makes perfect sense as we work with larger and more complex global clients.”
Ally vs. Acquisition
What is important about these affiliate deals is that they are designed to be the first step on the path to a mutual takeover agreement. That’s something Stagwell made clear when he first announced the partnership program a year ago.
“It’s a nice way to introduce [Coconuts] To the holding company,” Doakes explains. “We don’t take ownership, nor are we saying you have to move to this office location. For the entrepreneur, if you want to keep control, that’s the call.”
Since its launch a year ago, Stagwell has registered nearly 50 subsidiaries, including other APAC firms such as Metric Design Studio in China, Enormous in India, This is Flow in Australia, and Hong Kong-based Beyond Media Global.
Highlighting how these affiliate deals represent an entirely different approach to “top-down holding company decisions,” Duax explains that the program is designed for entrepreneurs looking for global opportunities to bring their own local opportunities and resources in return without the pressure of being forced to work for Global clients and projects don’t want that.
Similar to the global partner network of purely independent agencies, the Stagwell group of companies is a network of entrepreneurs and successful companies that want greater opportunities.
Daux explains: “You have creative agencies in some of these markets that might have never had a media or research component. They might have a client who only needs to reach one specific market and they don’t have that connection. But they don’t. [yet] You want to sell it to a larger holding company. So it’s an opportunity for us to see if the partnership is going to work and if they can do some of the bigger work that we can achieve.”