Some big changes are under way in Finland as Activeark and JWT Helsinki merge staff to become Activeark JWT Oy. The change follows this month’s announcement that JWT acquired Activeark, one of Finland’s most prominent digital marketing agencies. The newly appointed Chairman of the Board at Activeark JWT Oy, Jean Gallen, talks about his new role and what we can expect to see from one of the most significant European acquisitions for JWT in recent history.
This exciting merger brings together JWT’s respected global network and Activeark’s fast-growing digital skills, opening up new capabilities to better answer client needs. Markus Hakala, CEO of Activeark commented, “It’s time to stop talking about digital and traditional roles. Consumers’ media consumption is rapidly and constantly changing, and brands need to cope with this to survive. In our new set-up, we will be able to deliver customer experiences in all channels, both online and offline.”
As part of the transition, the CEO at Activeark, Markus Hakala, becomes the CEO of Activark JWT Oy. The founder of Activeark, Robin Bade, will focus on development and quality of service offerings. Managing Director of JWT Helsinki, Jean Gallen, will become the Chairman of the Board and will operatively be in charge of client service. We talked with Jean about his new role, the changes to the team, and what we can expect to see in the coming year.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself and your role at Activeark?
I joined JWT back in October 1998, starting as an Account Director for Shell and Unilever and working on new business too. Then in 2002, I was promoted to Deputy Managing Director and in 2005 I took over Managing Director responsibilities.
Now at the new company, Activeark JWT, I am the Chariman of the Board and, operationally, I will do what I enjoy doing most – working closely with clients while developing our client service and new business.
Can you tell us more about Activeark’s core beliefs? How do Activeark and JWT complement each other?
Activeark’s strategy strives to be the top player in the digital space. They have firmly supported the digitization of businesses, through development of services, marketing communications and interactions aimed at holistic support.
They’ve fulfilled this strategy with great success and that’s why I think the natural next step for them was to join a bigger, more global network.
JWT Helsinki and Activeark really compliment each other in a brilliant way – in depth branding and strategy competence combined with best-in-class digital competence. This offering is really what both JWT and Activeark clients are asking for, so we have what we could call the ‘Perfect Match’.
This acquisition will bring together JWT’s global and established brand insight and Activeark’s fast-growing digital expertise. What can we expect to see from the blended team at Activeark JWT Oy in the coming year?
Our focus will be on creating remarkable customer experiences, both online and offline. We also want to make sure we continue taking into account both brand and sales targets.
How will the offerings to clients and ability to reach customers change?
The digital competence that Activeark brings will directly affect JWT Helsinki’s ability to serve current clients. Now everything is under one roof: brand strategy, creative planning, communication and production – all this including best-in-class digital expertise. Our service will be better as we manage all these resources ourselves (compared to third party suppliers). As far as new business pitches, digital abilities are becoming more and more crucial, and with this new set up we’re also looking forward to get into more short lists.
How do you see Activeark fitting into JWT’s broader digital expansion goals?
Activeark fits, in my opinion, very well into JWT’s digital expansion goals – they have worked globally for most of their own clients. Therefore, Activeark JWT Oy will have the capabilities to support JWT in other markets, both for international clients as well as other JWT offices.