Creston plc
LSE : CRE

Creston plc

April 10, 2007 06:24 ET

Creston plc, UK's fastest-growing marketing services group, expands into the USA: Steve Blamer appointed CEO of Creston plc US Holdings Inc.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - April 10, 2007) - Creston plc, the United Kingdom's fastest-growing publicly traded marketing services holding company, today officially enters the United States market with the appointment of Steve Blamer as Chief Executive Officer of Creston plc US Holdings Inc. The announcement was made by Don Elgie, Chief Executive of Creston plc (http://www.creston.com).

Since its inception in 2001, Creston has brought 10 leading brands under one roof in the U.K., offering a host of blue-chip clients a range of services spanning advertising, public relations, digital marketing, market research, direct marketing and customer relationship marketing (CRM), among many others. Half year 2007 financials (the most recent period reported) showed Creston's billings up by 43% over the year prior, with revenue up 49% over the prior year period. With its rapid growth in only six years Creston is establishing itself as the new model for the marketing services industry.

"Our vision since the beginning has been to expand in the U.K. and internationally, both organically and through selective acquisitions," said Elgie. "In six years, we have succeeded in creating a high-value group delivering impressive earnings and growth on the London stock exchange. With nearly 900 employees in the U.K., Creston is now positioned to achieve similar success in the U.S. market. With his extensive experience building profitable companies and his well-honed ability to identify areas of potential growth, we believe Steve is the ideal candidate to lead our expansion efforts."

Creston group companies are recognised U.K. leaders in their individual areas of expertise and have grown significantly faster than the average for their relevant market sector. Blamer is charged with identifying similar leading acquisition targets in the U.S.-specifically high-quality, high-growth businesses with established top tier client lists. Creston's strategy will be to build a U.S. agency network with complementary specialisations to that of the UK that offer clients a full suite of solutions to meet both existing and future marketing needs.

Blamer was most recently CEO and President of Foote Cone & Belding Worldwide, one of the world's oldest agency brands. Prior to leading FCB, Blamer served as CEO of Grey Worldwide North America, a role he took on after 17 years of success within the Grey network.

"I'm joining Creston at an exciting stage it its history," said Blamer. "We have a proven track record, a business model that works, and aggressive goals I believe we can achieve. Creston has enjoyed tremendous growth in the U.K. from building existing client relationship, from new business as a result of client referrals, and through leveraging cross-selling opportunities. We have demonstrated we can not only acquire but manage best-in-class companies. We have every reason to believe that we can duplicate this success in the States."

According to Blamer, "This is a perfect time for Creston to enter the US market. Marketing service entrepreneurs, who simply do not want to cash out and leave, are looking for another option to the large holding companies. Creston with its alternative model can provide the infrastructure and resources required to maximise their full potential, while still allowing them to be nimble and entrepreneurial. Businesses joining Creston have been able to accelerate their growth without sacrificing their individual character."

Creston was named one of the top 10 fastest-growing companies in Britain by Real Business magazine in 2005 and one of the top 100 fastest-growing companies in the 2006 Europe's 500, and independent, pan-European listing of high-growth, job-creating companies.

Creston's companies boast a range of blue-chip clients including AstraZeneca, British Airways, Bacardi-Martini, Bayer, BT, Burger King, Canon, Diageo, eBay, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Halifax, Kimberly-Clark, Lloyds of London, Nestle U.K., Nissan, Pfizer, Tesco, Toshiba, T-Mobile, Tropicana, Unilever, Vodafone, Walkers and WHSmith, among many others. Creston is listed on the London stock exchange under the ticker CRE.
A photograph is available upon request.

Notes to Editors

Steve Blamer
Chief Executive Officer
Creston plc US Holdings Inc.

Steve Blamer will become Chief Executive Officer of Creston plc US Holdings Inc. in April 2007, marking parent company Creston plc's foray into the United States. Blamer brings extensive experience building profitable companies and a well-honed ability to identify areas of potential growth to his new role.

Blamer is charged with identifying leading independent acquisition targets in the U.S.-specifically high-quality, high-growth businesses with established top tier client lists. Creston's U.S. strategy is to build a U.S. agency network with complementary specialisations that offer clients a full suite of solutions to meet both existing and future marketing needs.

Blamer is a 25-year veteran in the marketing services arena, having been an entrepreneur, agency executive and client. Recently, Blamer was the chief executive of FCB Worldwide. In June of 2006, he recommended to IPG management and board that FCB be merged with Draft. As one of the primary architects of this new integrated model, Blamer foresaw the need to strengthen FCB's offering and relevance by combining it with one of IPG's strongest below the line companies.

Prior to joining FCB, Blamer oversaw the North American operations of Grey Worldwide. During his tenure as President and Chief Executive Grey North America, the agency grew by over $750 million in billings and more than doubled its profit margins. Grey North America was the largest and most profitable operating unit within Grey Global Group. Blamer revitalised the agency through the "revolutionary" village system, which empowered the creative people and pushed more financial control and accountability to the village leaders. Prior to coming to New York, Blamer was the CEO of Grey London and the managing director of Grey Los Angeles. In total, Blamer spent 17 years at this top 10 worldwide agency.

Blamer also has experience with start-up organisations having raised venture capital money with a prior client to form Sundale Beverages in the mid-1980s. He also was a client at Capri Sun, Inc. as Marketing Director.

Blamer is a native Californian who now resides in Manhattan with his wife and two kids.

He is a former board member of the AAAA's and Junior Achievement and was selected in 2001 as Agency Executive of the Year by the Delaney Report. He is a graduate of Arizona State University with a degree in Communications and Business.

Fact Sheet

- Creston is the U.K.'s fastest-growing publicly traded marketing services company, committed to delivering exceptional results both for clients and investors.

- Half yearly 2007 financials (the most recent period reported) showed Creston's billings up by 43% over the year prior, with revenue up 49% over the prior year period.

- Services include advertising, public relations, digital marketing, market research, direct marketing and customer relationship marketing (CRM), among others.

- Creston was named one of the top 10 fastest-growing companies in Britain by Real Business magazine in 2005 and one of the top 100 fastest-growing companies in the 2006 Europe's 500, and independent, pan-European listing of high-growth, job-creating companies.

- Creston was established in 2001 as a marketing services group by Don Elgie with a strategy to grow organically and through selective acquisitions both in the U.K. and internationally.

Organic growth is being driven through aggressive growth targets of all our group companies and through synergy, including client referral and the creation of joint products and cross-selling opportunities.

Creston's acquisition strategy is to build an international group with multiple, complementary specialisations, by acquiring high-quality, high-growth businesses with blue-chip client lists.

- Through its portfolio of agency brands, Creston offers a broad selection of strategic brand and tactical marketing and communications solutions.

Creston group companies are recognised leaders in their individual areas of expertise and have grown significantly faster than the average for their relevant market sector eg:

- Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners Group 11% v market + 3%
- ICM Research 19% v market + 4%

Creston agencies share a common commitment to providing imaginative, effective consultancy and solutions, and measurable ROI. Creston companies regularly achieve results beyond client expectation.

- Creston currently has nearly 900 employees in ten locations in the U.K.

- Creston has out-performed the UK marketing services sector as a whole (49% v 5%).

- Approximately 70% of billings comes from repeat business from existing clients (like for like profit growth - in the year ending March 06 was 18%).

The Dynamics of the US Market

The US only accounts for 4.6% of the world population but

- 36% of worldwide TV spend

- 43% of worldwide radio and out of home

- 27% of worldwide internet - access spend

The US Entertainment and Media sector is forecast to continue to grow:-



2007 2008 2009 2010
% change 5.7 6.1 4.5 5.2


Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2006-2010

Contact Information

  • Creston plc US Holdings Inc.
    Steve Blamer
    Chief Executive Officer
    + 1 212 520 8306/+ 1 917 573 5271
    or
    Creston plc
    Don Elgie
    Chief Executive Officer
    + 44 20 7930 9757
    or
    US enquiries
    DiGennaro Communications
    Samantha DiGennaro
    + 1 212 966 9525 / + 1 212 361 9170
    Email: Sam@digennaroNY.com
    or
    UK and European enquiries
    Senior Communications
    Jocelyn Senior
    + 44 20 8871 4376 / + 44 (0)7967 098567
    Email: Jocelyn@seniorpr.com