John Brown Media is one of the world’s largest content marketing agencies. While originally formed as a magazine company, the company creates multichannel content for various brands, with services including social media, film and audio, mobile.
Based in Ladbroke Grove in London, the company was formed in 1987 by John Brown who had previously run Virgin Books. The business was launched with two magazines: adult comic Viz, for which John Brown had secured the rights, and HotAir, Virgin Atlantic’s inflight title.
However, while going on to publish several other newsstand titles, it was the customer magazine side of the business that grew most dramatically with early clients including Debenhams, IKEA, the Dorchester and Eurotunnel.
In 2001 the company disposed of its consumer titles to concentrate on customer communications and quickly absorbed Citrus Publishing. This helped move establish John Brown as the UK’s largest customer publishing house.
In 2004, CEO Andrew Hirsch (formerly of Pearl and Dean) initiated a successful MBO. A broadening of the group’s activities and a number of acquisitions followed as did board appointments in marketing and strategy. In 2008 the senior management team restructured all the acquired businesses to trade under the single John Brown banner.
In 2006, specialist catalogue publishing agency CodeLondon was acquired.
In 2007, digital communication agency Fingal was acquired.
In 2007, a South African office was opened in Cape Town.
In 2008, a company rebrand was undertaken with all companies trading under the John Brown name.
In 2016, John Brown Media hiredStefano Hatfield, the former editor of Campaign and the i newspaper as global editorial director.
In 2011, Hong Kong agency Kleio was acquired and rebranded as John Brown Hong Kong.
In 2013, offices were opened in Dubai, with a US office opened in 2015.
In 2015, John Brown Media joined the Dentsu Aegis Network, .
John Brown currently produces around 100 publications and projects for more than 50 clients including RBS, across its corporate banking, business, commercial, kids and other areas, Waitrose, for whom it produces Waitrose Kitchen magazine and the MyWaitrose app, The British Heart Foundation and John Lewis. Others have included Sky, the DCSF, Orange. The company received the Marketing Magazine’s Customer Publishing Agency of the Year in 2004. In 2014, the agency received awards at the Content Marketing Association Awards and the Financial World Innovation Awards.
|John Brown Media|
|Parent company||Dentsu Aegis Network|
|Founded||1 April 1987|
|Headquarters location||8 Baldwin Street, London EC1V 9NU, United Kingdom|
|Publication types||Digital content, apps, social media, mobile, video, catalogues, magazines|
|No. of employees||222|