Cello Group, the market research and consulting group, has bought 23% of market research and creative agency Face in a bid to tap into the youth market. Cello can buy the remaining equity of the business through a staged earn-out over the next three to five years.
Face owns www.headbox.com, a web 2.0 community for 16-to-25-year-olds that has helped companies such as Unilever, Google and Natwest with recent campaigns.
The agency’s chief executive Andrew Needham says Cello expressed an interest in April last year after being impressed by Face’s “hands-on” approach. The agency uses the headbox.com community to research campaigns as they are developed, and believes that young people have more control over their engagement with brands.
Cello chairman, Kevin Steeds, says: “The Face stake is consistent with our strategy of building a substantial international research and consulting group.”