Twist Image President Explains Sale to WPP

By Patrick Coffee 

twist imageLast week brought news that Toronto-based digital agency Twist Image had become the latest acquisition for WPP.

Unlike most comparable deals, however, this one now brings a bit of commentary from the agency founder himself. This morning, Twist president Mitch Joel took the time to answer some questions you might have about the why, the how and the “are you a sellout?” aspects of the deal on the agency’s blog. He even managed to work in a Metallica reference.

Some key quotes on why he–or rather, they–sold:


“Truthfully, business was great…we decided that it was time to make a bigger bet.”

Along the way, we started thinking about joining someone bigger than us…Ultimately, the WPP deal best suited our needs, in terms of enabling us to add new services, have access to great talent, leverage their strategic relationships and be a better Twist Image.”

On why WPP was the best option:

“WPP employs over 175,000 employees in 3000 offices in 110 countries…Access like that can’t be understated.

…I had no idea that the perception might be that we were selling the business because times are tough or times are stagnant…This was not the case for us.”

On whether the sale was an exit strategy:

“A big part of making this deal come together was the agreement from WPP that the four of us (and our entire team) can keep on keeping on. We’re all in it for the long haul.”

On the price of the deal:

“It seems rude to ask (maybe it’s just me)…If this were just about money, I probably would be Silicon Valley right now slogging it out.”

On the inevitable “sellout” charge:

“The humor of being called a sell out in the marketing industry isn’t lost on me…My job is pretty simple: to help brands sell more stuff and connect to more people.”

On potential downsides of the deal:

“It’s going to be hard to go from being the final decision maker with my partners to being an employee…while I am thrilled about it, the anxious mind can wander into some funky territories.”

And yet…

“I get to put on my (black) jeans and sneakers, and go to work today just like I did yesterday.”

Sounds like a man confident in the decisions he’s made.