Mosaic acquires Launch!

Acosta Mosaic Group adds "unmatched" scale to its retail programs with the addition of the experiential agency.

Mosaic has bolstered its experiential and retail activation capabilities by acquiring Launch! Brand Marketing.

Announcing the acquisition today, Jeff Rogers, president of Acosta Mosaic Group North America, says Launch! will operate as a business unit of AMG alongside Mosaic, Hunter Straker and Shopper Solutions, though its activities will be within Canada only.

Founded in 1993 and based in Toronto, Launch! currently employs 75 staff members full-time with another 1,500 in the field. All staff are expected to be retained during the acquisition. The leadership structure at Launch! will not change, with CEO Kelly McCarten remaining at the head of the agency, reporting to Rogers.

As an agency, Launch! focuses on experiential activations – having previously worked with brands including Astro, Pepsi and Carlsberg – and shopper marketing, providing sampling, package design, direct-to-consumer promotion, public relations and social media for a range of CPG clients. Many of these capabilities exists across AMG’s other agencies, but Rogers says the big motivation for the acquisition was the agency’s in-retail platform, which is “unmatched” in Canada in terms of its scale and scope.

“These guys are number one in terms of their scale at retail,” he says. “When you have scale, you’re able to invest in everything from ROI tools to a better recruiting platform to a better reporting platform. This scale will allow us to continually invest in the best systems to provide the best value for our clients.”

Rogers says another benefit of acquiring Launch! is the agency’s relationships will several Canadian retailers, specifically pointing to Loblaws, where its retail platform has been particularly successful.

Last month, Rogers took on an elevated role at AMG, leading experiential marketing across North America in addition to his other duties.

A year ago, Launch! brought Lucinda Williams on as senior director of retail to lead shopper marketing and in-store programs at retailers like Loblaws and Metro. In the summer it added Holly Davis as senior director of retail strategy working on the Dairy Farmers of Canada account.

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