Simply Zesty and Tibus merge to create UK and Ireland digital media powerhouse

7 Jan 2013

UTV Media plc revealed this morning that it is merging its web design agency Tibus with digital and social branding agency Simply Zesty, which it acquired last year for about stg£1.7m, potentially rising to stg£5m, depending upon future trading performance.

UTV Media acquired Tibus in February 2008 for stg£5m in a move that added 15pc to its revenues within that year. Last year Tibus, which designed and hosts, in 2011 won a major contract to run the MTV Video Music Awards.

Tibus was set up 15 years ago and clients include Bank of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, The Post Office and Northern Ireland Electricity.

Simply Zesty, which was acquired by UTV plc last year, was set up by Niall Harbison and Lauren Fisher in a spare bedroom in Dublin three years ago and it drives social media campaigns for clients including Britvic, UNICEF, Teradata, Sony and Littlewoods. The agency expanded in 2012 by setting up a UK office.

This morning, UTV said it was merging Simply Zesty and Tibus to form one of Ireland’s largest digital agencies trading as Simply Zesty, with operations in Dublin, Belfast and London.

The digital infrastructure division of Tibus will continue to trade under the Tibus brand.

“Simply Zesty and Tibus have been working closely together in the last year to assist an increasing number of clients whose marketing strategies require a strong digital presence,” Nigel Robbins, group commercial director, UTV Media plc, said in a statement today.

“With the combined strengths of both of our digital agency businesses, we can now offer leading brands an unrivalled creative digital marketing and technology service across Europe and beyond.

“This merger creates what we believe will be the largest digital agency on the island of Ireland and one with an accomplished track record and an impressive  portfolio of first-class clients,” Robbins added.

Social objects image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years