Agency merger creates strategic content powerhouse

Posted by: Megan Harrison - 10.01.22

Ride Shotgun Agency Directos

Leeds-based Cry Havoc and Sheffield-based Born + Raised have merged to create an exciting agency proposition. The move will firmly establish us as one of the UK’s leading strategic content creation agencies.

The new agency, named Ride Shotgun, combines the strategic brand and creative heritage of Born + Raised with Cry Havoc’s impressive creative and content production capabilities.

Based in Leeds, Sheffield, London and Portugal the new business will have a turnover of £6m, with ambitious growth plans to reach £10m in 2022. Our client portfolio includes PepsiCo, HSBC, Homebase, PZ Cussons Beauty, and Premier Foods.

The Ride Shotgun team includes over 60 specialists across brand strategy, creative, digital, SEO, and content creation, as well as a substantial production team and almost 30,000 sq ft of production space.

Ride Shotgun is actively hiring for several roles across its Leeds and Sheffield offices. Among a range of accolades, including being named as Agency of the Year by Prolific North and winning two International B2B Marketing Gold Awards, Born + Raised has been consistently named in the Top 25 Best Companies to Work for by Campaign Magazine – something Ride Shotgun strives to continue.

Andy Weir, Chief Client Officer said: “When our two agencies first collaborated almost two years ago, it was clear to see we shared very similar values, and our people were at the very heart of our success.

“What the team at Cry Havoc has achieved in just three years is outstanding. Their drive, ambition, and agility are something we’ll fully embrace as Ride Shotgun. We’ll continue to build on the passion, experience and enviable culture the team at Born + Raised has created over almost 12 years.”

Made to match the pace of modern marketing, Ride Shotgun has been specifically designed to think big strategically, go big creatively and deliver big in production – all in one place.

Mark Mallinder CEO said: “This merger is all about offering our clients a joined-up approach to brand-building, a talented team of specialists who plan, create, produce and activate all in one place, and the ability to achieve more for our clients than ever before.”

With the ability to flex to a full range of needs – from heavyweight strategic thinking, impactful creative and agile production at scale – the new business has a laser-sharp focus on being the partner that every marketer needs.

This customer-first ethos was the core inspiration behind the new name. Ride Shotgun is about partnership, working closely side-by-side with clients, and helping clients navigate the constantly changing marketing landscape so they can achieve more for their brands.

Jon Dark Chief Operations Officer said: “Ride Shotgun is the single most exciting agency proposition I’ve ever been part of building, partnering with clients across a number of disciplines from strategy all the way through to large scale in-house production capability.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our teams, their talent, and their hard work. We are creating an environment where people can excel in their roles.

“The expertise we now have across Leeds, Sheffield, London, and Portugal is tailored to join up with every stage of the brand marketing journey, which offers our clients access to in-house integrated services.”

Ride Shotgun board members include:

Mark Mallinder, CEO

Mark brings a wealth of experience gained over the last 30 years working client-side as a Marketing Director, in agency growth and mergers and as a successful business owner. MBA qualified, Mark was Non-Executive Director of both Born + Raised and Cry Havoc before establishing Ride Shotgun.

Andy Weir, Chief Client Officer

Andy set up Born + Raised in 2010 and built the award-winning strategic creative agency to over 30 people with offices in Sheffield and London. Along with his team he built an enviable client list and workplace, being consistently named in the Top 25 Best Companies to Work for by Campaign Magazine.

Jon Dark, Chief Operations Officer

Jon has been part of the creative industry for 25 years working across brand, publishing, fashion, corporate, and retail before jointly founding Cry Havoc as Managing Director. He spearheaded its growth over three years into a £4m content powerhouse of creativity and in-house production capability. As Chief Operations Officer Jon will be responsible for continuing to lead the expansion and production capability of the integrated business.

Andy Littlewood, Chief Financial Officer

As a fully qualified accountant and auditor Andy has held Finance Director roles across a range of sectors and businesses including FMCG, People Service and Food Retail, as well as leading agencies in and around Yorkshire, before jointly founding Cry Havoc.

For enquiries or further information please get in touch.