County Down advertising and marketing agency Ardmore has bought a Belfast-based digital marketing specialist for an undisclosed sum to meet growing demand for e-commerce.
Built for Growth Digital (BFG Digital), formerly known as Export Technologies, has a number of high profile clients in the UK and Ireland and has been operating since 2000.
It said it has since generated £1.5 billion in sales for its customer base, which includes Ann’s Cottage, Camping World, Newbridge Silverware and DV8 Fashion.
BFG Digital, based in Catalyst’s innovation center in Belfast, employs 20 people and is the latest addition to Ardmore, which itself employs around 60 at its Holywood site.
Ardmore said the acquisition will help it capitalize on growing demand for e-commerce solutions as more businesses look online to reach a customer base that’s ever more distant.
Ardmore CEO Mark Irwin said he was impressed with BFG Digital.
“BFG Digital has been growing for over two decades, driving international sales success for clients hungry for rocket-fueled online growth, increased profits and sustained customer loyalty,” he said. “The combination of our marketing communications expertise with BFG Digital’s eCommerce know-how and experience provides a truly exceptional platform to build and grow high-performing eCommerce businesses.
BFG Digital is led by Leanne Blair and Andrew McComb, Co-Heads of Consulting and Services.
“This landmark acquisition, which represents an industry-first development in Northern Ireland, means we can combine our capabilities to become the premier agency providing industry-leading services and expertise in branding, advertising and e-commerce,” said Lesly .
The two companies may also work with another Catalyst tenant, IRP Commerce, which provides an e-commerce platform.
IRP Commerce Chief Commercial Officer Philip Macartney welcomed the deal.
“IRP is delighted that agency partner BFG Digital has been acquired by Ardmore Advertising. Ardmore is a global, award-winning, results-driven industry leader in marketing communications. This is a critical step forward for the entire IRP ecosystem and agency model.”
Ardmore represents a range of clients including Network Rail, Stena Line, Lidl, Dale Farm, Phoenix Natural Gas, Power NI, Translink, Progressive Building Society, Destination British Columbia and National Trust.