Ben Lilley’s HERO acquires tech and data group B.B.E

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 9 October 2020

Ben Lilley’s HERO group announced the acquisition of consulting, data and technology developer B.B.E. building on this year’s acquisitions of McCANN Worldgroup Australia, The Red Republic, SMART, Red Engine SCC and JSA Creative.

The commercial details of the deal haven't been released.

“The B.B.E team has built a first-rate communications, data and technology offering. They bring both an outstanding team and an enviable client list,” says Lilley.

Lilley, a former CEO of McCann Australia, now intends to maximise the HERO group’s national creative scope and scale by integrating more businesses in the creative, data, design, media, technology and PR space across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

“Our strategy is to scale our national suite of best-in-class solutions to best address each clients’ own specific suite of marketing and communications needs,” says Lilley.

B.B.E’s Sydney and Melbourne operations, founded by DT/AKQA alumni Adam Beaupeurt, Jarrah Kammoora and Tim Evans, will integrate immediately into HERO’s national operations.

“We’re thrilled to be joining both the most exciting indie agency network in Australia and the global McCANN network – the world’s most awarded multinational for both creativity and effectiveness,” says B.B.E partner Tim Evans.

“The HERO model immediately resonated with us because of its entrepreneurial combination of global scale with independent agility, and we’re looking forward to carving out a new path for our agencies in what is both a challenging and inspiring landscape."

B.B.E’s marketing and technology track record includes work for Dulux, Holden, KAYAK, Medibank, Momentum Energy, Qantas, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, Roadshow and Specsavers.

The business began as a strategic consultancy in 2014 by Adam Beaupeurt, with Evans joining the following year. Prior to B.B.E, Evans and Beaupeurt worked together as digital strategy directors at DT (now AKQA) and Ogilvy, and shared a vision to launch a digital advisory specialising in creating marketing ecosystems that nurture attention into loyalty.

“B.B.E was founded to deliver creative and performance-based marketing for innovative clients,” says Evans.

Beyond its work for some of Australia’s biggest brands, the business also established itself in the start-up space, investing and partnering with a number of early-stage Australian and international tech start-ups to help take them from seed to market.

“As a start-up ourselves, our venture marketing work has produced some of the most innovative and rewarding initiatives for B.B.E,” says Evans. This includes the launch and equity stakes in new ventures like the e-commerce email marketing app Smartrmail and Jules Lund’s influencer technology platform TRIBE.

Lilley’s strategy is to integrate the HERO network of best-in-class advertising and marketing businesses, providing single-source campaign management across Australia and New Zealand for clients who are frustrated with the challenges of integrating a multi-agency roster.

All HERO agencies’ systems have been migrated to a single national technology platform, designed and implemented by cloud services infrastructure specialist iQ3.

Billing and management technologies have also been migrated to a single national SAP data system, for single-source client management, job costing and invoicing across all HERO agencies. B.B.E will migrate to the HERO technology platform.

In February this year Lilley acquired McCann Australia from IPG and with it Smart and The Red Republic.

Further acquisitions this year have included Red Engine SCC, Engine Room Productions and digital design agency JSA Creative.

Lilley has also undertaken a string of high-profile hires, including Ben Coulson as chief creative officer and Roshni Hegerman who returned McCann Sydney as executive strategy director, from her APAC role at McCann China, where she was regional strategic lead for Coca-Cola.



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