Tongue joins with DT to redefine brand experience

June 3, 2016

Tongue joins with DT to redefine brand experience

Tongue, one of WPP AUNZs leading ideas companies will join forces with DT, one of the industry’s biggest and best performing creative technology players, as part of a merger announced this week.

The combined agency will have more than 220 staff, with increased scale to consult, create ideas, design and then build solutions across the entire need set of the modern CMO.

WPP AUNZ CEO Michael Connaghan said of the merger: “Both DT and Tongue are performing at their peak, with DT posting its most successful 12 months on record. Similarly, Tongue has had its best year creatively and financially since inception. Bringing them together aligns with WPP AUNZ’s ‘fewer, bigger, better, stronger’ strategy, and merges two successful agencies to create an even more robust business.”  

DT’s CEO Brian Vella said the primary motivation behind the merger was to provide an even more exciting attitude and capability set to clients. “The ideas and entrepreneurial spirit of Tongue is aligned culturally, and they add further depth and breadth to our proven multi-discipline offer,” he said.

“Tongue joining DT creates a more powerful player with ideas and innovation at its core, and diverse expertise that few can compete with,” he continued. “Deep strategic capability, and creativity and technology working together to create world class brand experiences.”

Vella said both DT and Tongue will retain 100% of their staff, only adding more capabilities for clients and creating more opportunity for their respective teams.

Tongue’s Managing Partner John Du Vernet said the merger was a direct response to market need. “The modern Chief Marketing Officer is a new breed.  They adapt to answer market shifts or emerging trends with agility. They demand style with substance. Creativity with technology. The modern CMO requires deep understanding of today’s customer behaviour. Now DT will deliver a reimagined take on brand experiences like no other.” he said.  

“Merging design, technology and complex delivery with ideas that motivate people to talk and act, is a rare combination.”

The combined agencies will have a uniquely relevant offer that includes:

  1. Proven success creating marketing technology platforms and brand ecosystems that connect with the modern consumer
  2. Ideas and creativity that compels people to act or change their behaviour dramatically
  3. Digital Media that adapts to changing markets in real time based on how consumers behave and what they consume

As a result of the merger, the Tongue name will cease to exist, with all staff now working under the DT brand.  The merged entity will reside at WPP AUNZ’s Kent St campus in Sydney, with Tongue’s Du Vernet taking on the role of Managing Director.  Jonathan Pease will become Chief Creative Officer.  Tim Sexton moves to a newly created, national Employee Experience focused role. DT’s Brian Vella will remain as CEO.

This is the second merger in the last three years that DT has undertaken, with Mobile game, application and education specialist Millipede joining the business in 2014. Since joining forces with DT, Millipede has doubled in size and won new assignments with the Australian Department of Education, Boost Juice and Metro Trains Melbourne on the globally respected and award winning Dumb Ways to Die applications (presently over 200 million downloads).

DT serves blue chip clients like Bunnings, Tourism Australia, Kmart, Caltex, Optus, Fairfax, Officeworks and Bupa, just to name a few. Tongue’s creativity has transformed organisations like, Pernod Ricard, ASOS, Audi and Freedom Foods since 2009. In the past few years Tongue has been recognised with awards ranging from Advertising categories in the Effie’s, loyalty and customer experiences at the ADMA’s to winning branded content, experiential  and sponsorship categories at the BEfest awards. 

Tongue and DT are part of WPP AUNZ, Australasia’s leading marketing content and communications group.


For more information contact Rebecca Tilly, WPP AUNZ ph: +61 410 501 043