Liverpool PR firm acquires Manchester agency

Public relations agency Influential has acquired Young Bright and Grey for an undisclosed sum creating an enlarged business with a headcount of 27 in Liverpool and Manchester. Tony McDonough reports

Sara Wilde-McKeown
Sara Wilde-McKeown, managing director of Influential


One of Liverpool’s best-known public relations agencies Influential has acquired Manchester creative branding agency Young Bright and Grey.

While Young Bright and Grey will become part of the Influential Agency Group, it will retain its brand. The combined business will employ 27 people and will operate from Liverpool and Manchester. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Viv Griffith and James Summerscales, who founded Young Bright and Grey in 2020, are joining with the board of Influential and have taken an equity stake in the group. Influential itself grew out of the former Paver Smith PR agency, It rebranded in 2014 following the departure of two of its three co-founders, Dougal Paver and Rachel Smith.

Sara Wilde-McKeown, managing director of Influential, who was the former managing director of the Liverpool Post & Echo, said: “We’ve been working with Young Bright and Grey as our preferred partner on creative and branding campaigns for over 12 months, and there’s an obvious affinity between us.

“We have experienced first-hand the quality and strategic vision they bring to their creative and visual work. It fits perfectly alongside our own insight-led approach. Young Bright and Grey will give us a much deeper expertise in creative branding and digital marketing.”

In the first year of operation, Young, Bright and Grey delivered projects for a range of international tech, banking and fashion brands, along with healthcare and transport projects closer to home.

Viv Griffith  has over 25 years’ industry experience, including campaigns for the United Nations, Sony, DAF Trucks and Virgin Media. James Summerscales has spent over 10 years’ in creative agencies, supporting brands that include BNP Paribas and Flawless.

He added: “Having got to know Influential over the past 12 months, we understand how strong their current offering is and we’re all excited about the synergies of combining forces. Both Viv and I are relishing continuing the growth that Young, Bright and Grey has seen over the last year.”

The existing teams at Influential are led by agency’s co-founders Chris Hulme, PR, and Karen Swan, who leads on marketing insight. Sara Wilde-McKeown says Influential Agency Group will take further steps to build the business by adding other specialist divisions with similar investments.

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