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Equator and 999 combine

Glasgow marketing agencies unveil tie-up

999Two Glasgow marketing businesses have joined forces after Equator acquired a controlling interest in brand agency, 999 Design Group.

Equator managing director John McLeish said the acquisition of 999, which also has a London office, was part of a major growth strategy which is already on track to increase revenues to more than £15 million in the current financial year.

He said: “This is an exciting milestone in the evolution of the Equator Group. 999 Design is a well-respected and long standing agency with tremendous brand experience, working with internationally renowned brands including The Financial Times, Highland Spring, BBC and Victoria Beckham. Previously 999 Design worked extensively on major brand projects for BT, Reebok and Orange.

“The team’s design and creative expertise will further strengthen our own integrated approach to working with national and international brands and we are hugely excited by the opportunities we can create together.”

999 Design, which was established in 1982 and has around 25 staff, will continue to operate, with founders Bill Gaughan and Richard Bissland remaining in the business. The brand agency will be part of the Equator Group’s expanding portfolio of marketing businesses which also includes Equator PR and Equator Events.

Equator was established as a digital agency in 1999 and has enjoyed solid, year on year growth since that time. Last year it evolved its proposition to become an ideas agency, specialising in creative solutions that help brands connect with audiences in more meaningful ways across digital and offline channels.

The agency currently employs 140 staff in Glasgow and has a business development base in New York. The acquisition of 999 Design boosts its office footprint to include premises in Shoreditch, London.

Bill Gaughan, director of 999 Design, said: “We have admired Equator and its impressive growth for many years.

“With its strength in digital and our own brand expertise, we believe we can capitalise on many new and existing opportunities together. This is an exciting time for both businesses and we look forward to working with John and the team for years to come.”

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