Stagwell acquires Dyversity to add multicultural expertise

With its services in high demand, the agency will collaborate with others in the Doner Partner Network locally and globally.

Stagwell is acquiring Toronto-based full-service multicultural agency Dyversity Communications, with eyes on bringing its best-in-class thinking to other agencies around the world.

Albert Yue will continue to lead the agency as its CEO. No layoffs are expected at the agency; Yue says the agency has already added roughly five full-time staff over the last 12 weeks in response to its own growth and expects more to come as a result of the acquisition. Dyversity’s headcount currently sits at 33 full-time staff.

Dyversity will be part of the Doner Partner Network, one of the networks Stagwell began creating in 2019 to make collaboration and sharing resources between its agencies easier, as well as to simplify its holdings. The network also includes DonerNorth (created by the recent merger of Union and 6Degrees), Vertias, Meat & Produce, KWT, Yamamoto and HL Group.

“Marketers are finally demanding multicultural communications,” says Krista Webster, vice-chair of Doner Partner Network, as well as president and CEO of Veritas Communications and Meat & Produce. “We are doubling down in all aspects of the expertise the network offers, so it was really important for me that it not just be lip service when we say we do multicultural. We can say that we do it, but I wanted to make sure we were offering the true specialists, and Albert and his team are clearly the experts.”

Dyversity’s clients in recent years have included the likes of RBC, Canada Post, Nestle, Unilever and General Mills (no client conflicts have been identified as a result of the acquisition). Though Dyversity specializes in Chinese and South Asian communications, its expertise stretches across more than 20 other languages.

Yue says that while he has operated Dyversity as an independent for more than 25 years and is a leader in multicultural marketing, he was impressed by Stagwell’s vision for growth, as well as the access it will be able to provide to clients and resources, such as the data and marketing transformation tools within the Stagwell Marketing Cloud.

Dyversity will continue to operate autonomously within the network but will collaborate with agencies across the network and geographies.

“We want them to be able to maintain what they’ve done so far,” Webster says. “But Albert is going to be busy with phone calls from the other agencies because they see a massive opportunity. And they will do that more proactively so we can bring more of that thinking to clients. They’re ready for more multicultural services, but we want to be a few steps ahead of them when it comes to identifying the possibilities.”

Yue says the agency’s immediate priority is to continue delivering on work it has scheduled for clients, and then to begin integrating with DNP’s Canadian agencies – DonerNorth, Veritas and Meat & Produce – before beginning to work with agencies across the global network. Once those relationships have been established, Webster has identified scaling Dyversity’s expertise into the U.S. as the next opportunity.

“Multicultural communications is really at an inflection point,” Webster says. “It’s going to take off, which has been a long time coming, and Dyversity are the experts on it within the global organization. It feels like they will become a jewel in terms of being best in class thinking we can export.”

Yue says ethnic audiences in the U.S. are slightly different than in Canada; here, it is primarily first-generation people, whereas those in the U.S. are second and third generation. But the expertise it can offer and build further with the support of Stagwell is helpful to a range of clients, and adds that, internally, there is also an opportunity to further energize staff. He points out that Stagwell has a presence across international markets that many of his staff have personal and professional connections to, and the opportunity to connect with agencies there is exciting.