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Digital agency Amorphous New Media has parted ways with the Times Media Group, which it has been a partially owned subsidiary of since 2007.
Amorphous is one of the older, medium-sized agencies that to some extent has not grown as fast as its larger peers. In the early 2000s it was the main player on the Nedbank account and was slated for big things but today is still a niche player. Possibly this is because the agency was not able to transform itself from being a “web development agency” to a fully-fledged digital agency mirroring the evolutions that Quirk and HelloComputer went through.
According to a press release from Amorphous, the move came into effect on 31 March and is designed to give the agency “a greater degree of creative independence”.
“As an independent entity,” Amorphous says, “the agency will also be able to take on other media clients that were previously restricted by its association with TMG, and will allow it to work on increasingly profitable business”.
It also says that its operational ability was not affected by the split and that it has retained high-profile projects such as the Cell C website and mobi-site.
According to the press release, all of Amorphous’ staff were retained by the agency. “We were pleased that there was no need for retrenchments and believe that this shows what a sturdy position the agency is in going forward,” says Amorphous CEO Grant Shippey.
Shippey started Amorphous in 1998 and sold 50% of the company to TMG (at the time called Johnnic, then Avusa, and then Times Media) in 2007. After three years and a shareholding consolidation, TMG owned 75% of the business, with Shippey retaining the remaining 25%. In 2013 Amorphous acquired a digital media and social monitoring agency, Acceleration Media, which functioned as an independent entity and was renamed 25AM.
As part of the agreement with TMG, Shippey is now the sole shareholder of Amorphous and TMG owns 50% of 25AM with Lagardère.
Another Amorphous subsidiary, Hudlr, an audience mapping and geo-targeting tool, works in partnership with 3 Way Marketing, and this will continue, with new distribution partners cultivated going forward.
The agency will be moving into new premises in Dunkeld and, along with its new home, plans to refresh its branding.