Argyle Group acquires controlling stake in digital shop Matchstick

The firm with PR roots continues to expand its offering by taking a controlling interest in the Toronto-based agency.

Picture: Matchstick co-founders Matthew Stradiotto (left) and Patrick Thoburn with Argyle Public  Relationships CEO Daniel Tisch (center). 

Six months after acquiring two new specialty shops, The Argyle Group continues to build a more integrated offering through a strategic investment in Toronto-based digital agency Matchstick.

The deal sees Argyle take a controlling interest in Matchstick, though the latter’s co-founders and principals, Patrick Thoburn and Matthew Stradiotto, maintain a stake in the business.

As part of the agreement, Matchstick will retain its brand and identity and Thoburn and Stradiotto will continue to lead Matchsticks’ business, but they will report into Terri McBay, Argyle’s VP of digital communications. McBay will serve as the “interface between the teams to ensure resources are well-allocated,” according to Argyle  CEO Daniel Tisch. “We’ve kept this structure because it means stability for clients and the team, and also because we love the Matchstick brand.”

In addition, Argyle Public Relationships will expand its Toronto office in order to accommodate all of Matchstick’s seven employees. No changes to staff at either agency is expected.

“This is about both responding to and anticipating client demand,” Tisch wrote in an email to strategy. “Argyle’s digital team is incredibly busy, and this deal gives our clients immediate bench strength from some of the most talented players in the business.”

The CEO added that the Argyle has recently evolved to offer a “continuum of services,” from public engagement to communications and creative content marketing. “Digital and social run through all three,” he said, suggesting the capabilities are key to an integrated offering.

The latest move follows Argyle’s integration of two Western Canadian shops in January. At that time, Winnipeg-based Changemakers, a full-service agency focused on strategic marketing consulting, creative and social marketing, and Vancouver-born Context, an agency focused on engagement and public health programming, were folded into the new Argyle Group of companies.

Argyle now has more than 90 staff members across its offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria and Ottawa, as well as its affiliates in Montreal, Quebec City and 17 global markets.

Matchstick’s clients have included Beam Suntory, Johnsonville, BentallGreenOak and General Electric.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article appeared under the headline “Argyle Group acquires digital shop Matchstick” and incorrectly referred to Argyle Public Relationships as Argyle Public Relations. Strategy regrets the errors.