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Balloon dog boss hopes acquisition by national group will help growth

PUBLISHED: 18:52 12 October 2012 | UPDATED: 18:55 12 October 2012

James Clifton, chief executive of Balloon Dog at their offices in Norfolk Tower, Norwich.

James Clifton, chief executive of Balloon Dog at their offices in Norfolk Tower, Norwich.

Archant © 2011

The boss of Norwich marketing agency Balloon dog said its acquisition by a national group would allow the company to remain strong and continue to grow.

Mission Marketing Group has snapped up the Surrey Street-based business, which also has an office in London, in the latest of a series of acquisitions for a company listed on the AIM London Stock Exchange for smaller growing companies.

This history of the agency spans 40 years, but more recently it became Balloon dog when chief executive James Clifton headed a management buy-out from Fox Murphy in 2008.

Balloon dog has 80 staff across the two offices, but will now become part of the group which will have an 800-strong workforce and a network of 17 offices across the country.

Balloon dog, which last year turned over £6.3m, works with Aviva, Barclays, Barclaycard, Pret a Manger and Rightmove.

Mr Clifton, who will join the Mission Marketing Group board, said that over its 40-year history the company had constantly evolved so it could grow and over the past four years, as Balloon Dog, it had grown 74pc.

He said: “This [the acquisition] allows us to continue that growth. We are here for the growth of our clients. We want to offer them new things and cutting edge things. The group’s model fits us perfectly as we are a strong entity in our own right and can benefit from working with a like-minded network of agencies.”

The current balloon dog management team, which includes Greig McCallum, Cordell Burke, Sian Potter and Ashley Bliss, will remain in place.

David Morgan, chairman of the The Mission Marketing Group, said: “Balloon dog is an exciting, profitable business and fits perfectly into our portfolio of agencies.

“We are looking forward to driving balloon dog’s growth through our national footprint and shared knowledge.”

Other Mission Marketing Group members include Addiction, which was acquired last month, April-Six, Big Communications, Bray Leino, RLA, Robson Brown, Story, ThinkBDW and Yucca.

annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk

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