Duncan Channon Acquires Social, Digital and Experiential Agency A2G

Two Ad Age Small Agency of the Year honorees come together to address the new reality of integrated brand marketing.

SAN FRANCISCO, March 26, 2019 – Award-winning independent creative agency Duncan Channon today announced the acquisition of A2G, a two-time Ad Age Small Agency of the Year and pioneer in experiential, influencer and social marketing. The agencies’ deep complementary expertise puts Duncan Channon in a unique position to serve brands who want truly integrated creative ideas that engage consumers across paid, earned, shared and owned channels.

A2G’s nearly 15-year track record in creating emotional connections with consumers in live and online spaces for top brands like Gap, Nintendo and Citibank complements Duncan Channon’s deep expertise in building brands and driving business growth via strategy, advertising, design and media planning. The deal comes on the heels of record annual revenue for Duncan Channon in 2018, as well as 15 percent growth in headcount.

A2G Founder, President and Chief Creative Officer Amy Cotteleer joins Duncan Channon as partner and chief experience officer (CXO). In her newly created role within DC, Cotteleer will lead the creative development of social, influencer and live experiences that create two-way relationships between brands and customers. As a top leader within DC’s creative team, she will ensure that integrated ideas for clients and prospects have online and offline experiences built into their DNA.

“This move is about much more than adding new capabilities. It’s about our shared vision to help clients achieve their business goals in the evolving world of integrated marketing. The days of buying attention are dead — and winning brands need to build relationships with consumers online and in real life,” said Andy Berkenfield, CEO, Duncan Channon.

“For the midsize and challenger brands that seek an independent creative and strategic partner of Duncan Channon’s size, there aren’t many shops that can do what we now can. By teaming with A2G and a fearless creative entrepreneur in Amy Cotteleer, Duncan Channon offers clients a singular and holistic view on how creativity can move audiences to action — and unprecedented depth in executing effective ideas that engage customers across paid, earned, shared and owned channels,” said Berkenfield.

Founded in 2005 by Amy Cotteleer, A2G was an early pioneer in experiential and influencer marketing — attracting blue chip brands by creating experiences and campaigns with social and digital engagement built into their fabric. The two-time Ad Age Small Agency of the Year has become known for breakthrough campaigns, including Gap’s Be Bright, which made Gap’s classic t-shirt the official concert tee at the hottest summer music festivals; Nintendo’s Wii U Video Challenge, which produced a record-breaking video collaboration that generated over 900 million earned media impressions; and Flo’s Rockin’ Rally for Progressive Insurance, which engaged nearly a quarter million consumers at motorcycle rallies across the country.

A2G has offices in Los Angeles and New York, as well as a large network of freelancers handpicked for each client. Current clients include e.l.f. Cosmetics, Universal Orlando Resort, CBS, Kayak and Lagos, among others.

“After nearly 15 years of pushing the envelope to help some of the world’s most respected brands connect with consumers through social, influencers and experiences, we could either stay the course or aim for bigger impact,” said Amy Cotteleer, founder, president and chief creative officer, A2G. “Joining forces with Duncan Channon gives us access to bigger, better creative opportunities, a more influential seat at the client table, and operational resources.”

In addition to collaborating on new business and opportunities with Duncan Channon’s existing clients, A2G will continue pitching for its own business. A2G’s staff will remain in its Los Angeles and New York spaces, and Cotteleer will spend time at Duncan Channon’s San Francisco office monthly to build relationships with staff and help teams bring new capabilities and integrated ideas to clients. Cotteleer will ultimately be responsible for building out a team in San Francisco.

“Teaming with another award-winning independent agency that shares our ambition to help brands break through in innovative ways was extremely attractive to us,” said Cotteleer. “The last thing we wanted was to be absorbed by a big agency who just wanted to add us to a list of capabilities. DC implicitly understood that A2G has an established brand and reputation for a reason. We’re incredibly excited by the possibilities to do great things creatively as we grow together.”

The acquisition of A2G comes on the heels of significant growth for Duncan Channon. Last year, the agency added SweeTARTS, Rakuten, the Golden State Warriors, Kat Von D Beauty and InnovAsian to its client roster, while significantly expanding its anti-tobacco work for the California Department of Public Health’s CA Tobacco Control Program.

McCracken Advisory Partners acted as exclusive M&A Advisor to Duncan Channon on the transaction.

About Duncan Channon

A two-time Ad Age Small Agency of the Year in the West, Duncan Channon is an independent, integrated advertising and design agency based in San Francisco. The agency’s philosophy of guanxi, the belief that clients and staff, brands and customers all win when they build real, trusting relationships, underpins a specialty in re-launching brands. Founded in 1990, Duncan Channon is best known for turning StubHub into a household name, bottling the Hawaiian mindset for Kona Beer and educating the public on the dangers of e-cigarettes for the California Tobacco Control Program. Current clients include the Golden State Warriors, Rakuten, Kat Von D Beauty, Upwork, Kona Brewing, InnovAsian, TriNet, John Muir Health and the California Tobacco Control Program, among others.

About A2G

Founded in 2005 by Amy Cotteleer, A2G is an award-winning social, digital and experiential marketing agency made up of a diverse group of social strategists who instinctively understand the digital landscape. An early pioneer in experiential and influencer marketing, A2G helps clients personalize and humanize their brands in both live and online spaces to create emotional connections with consumers. The agency’s work for clients such as Gap, Nintendo and Citibank cultivates relationships with consumers that deepen brand engagement, drive consumer consideration, create purchase intent and amplify advocacy. A2G has been named one of Inc.’s Fastest Growing Private Companies and is a two-time Ad Age Small Agency of the Year.

Duncan Channon partners (L-R): Robert Duncan, Michael Lemme, Andy Berkenfield, Parker Channon and Amy Cotteleer