Stagwell’s Anomaly Alliance to Acquire French Digital Shop What’s Next Partners

By Kyle O'Brien 

Stagwell has reached an agreement to acquire What’s Next Partners (WNP), a French digital brand and marketing consultancy specializing in data-powered strategies, integrated communications and creative content.

The move sets up WNP to become the first co-branded member of the Anomaly Alliance, a partnership model designed to expand Anomaly’s global footprint beyond its existing offices in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Berlin and Shanghai.

The acquisition will deepen Anomaly’s presence in Europe and add capabilities in scaled digital content and AI-enabled CRM and data, as well as the leadership in-market to compete for and service larger European accounts.

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“Anomaly continues to surge around the world…and as we expand across continents, it’s essential our clients know our partners exemplify what it means to be an anomaly,” said Carl Johnson, Anomaly founding partner and executive chairman in a statement. “In What’s Next Partners, we have found kindred spirits in Europe.”

WNP has worked with clients including Cora, Danone, Ecoutier Voir, Meetic Europe and Savencia.

Guy Chauvel, founder and CEO of WNP, brings a record of creative leadership to the partnership, with prior tenures as evp of JWT, and CEO of Europe at Havas. He will drive the creation of new client solutions for WNP and the Anomaly Alliance with Carl Johnson.

“Advertisers we are talking to or working with are pushing us to go international. We have always kept a close eye on Anomaly over the past 15 years, as a source of inspiration and are fascinated by their model and culture,” said Chauvel, who added that when the decision came to choose a new partner, Anomaly was the obvious choice and the agency is looking forward to growing with Stagwell.

This is the second European acquisition by Stagwell in a week, as the company just acquired a collective of specialist agencies known as Sidekick, which will join the network’s consultancy, Allison. In addition, Stagwell recently added Team Epiphany in January.

Further acquisitions for the Anomaly Alliance will follow, ranging from Latin America to Asia Pacific.

“2023’s exceptional new business pipeline made it clear Stagwell’s proposition resonates with clients,” added Mark Penn, chairman and CEO, Stagwell. “We’re all-in on expanding our unique tech-forward approach to transforming marketing in France and Europe more broadly. In 2024, we’re excited to welcome tested leaders like WNP and Guy and to build a best-in-class European team to support our clients and our talent.”

Lazare Consulting LLC served as the exclusive strategic M&A advisor to WNP.

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