LONDON — Modus, the London-based creative brand communications agency, is merging with BPCM, which specializes in brand building and communication, WWD has learned.
The new firm will be called ModusBPCM and will see Modus’ fashion, beauty and lifestyle clients join BPCM’s fashion brands including Aldo, Kering Eyewear, Longchamp and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. BPCM founders and partners Carrie Ellen Phillips and Vanessa von Bismarck and Modus’ creative director Julian Vogel will be shareholders in the newly formed company.
The ModusBPCM office will be based on Heddon Street in central London and will link up with BPCM offices in New York and Los Angeles. They will utilize the services with BPCM’s Los Angeles office, which provides VIP services, West Coast communications and events as well as beauty and influencer marketing divisions.
Catherine Bowman was appointed managing director of ModusBPCM. She is the managing director at BPCM London and previously held positions including head of global public relations for Net-a-porter and fashion director for Modus. Vogel was named chief executive officer of ModusBPCM. Philips and von Bismarck — who are based in New York — will be partners in the new firm.
Von Bismarck — who founded the company with Phillips in 1999 — said after being friends and colleagues in the industry for 20 years, both company’s cultures and visions had been aligned for a long time.
“Merging our London businesses felt like a natural step,” von Bismarck said. “What we are most excited about is bringing BPCM’s depth of experience in beauty, travel, spirits and digital to enhance Modus’ existing expertise in fashion, beauty and lifestyle.”
Phillips said she, von Bismarck and Vogel observed that “the old ways of doing public relations are becoming obsolete.”
“Our business model has already moved away from pure publicity,” Phillips said. “We are instead using traditional media as one piece of an overall strategy that combines experiential, digital, influencer and customer acquisition strategies. For years Julian, Vanessa and I have acted as a sounding board for one another and merging feels like a natural evolution for our businesses and our teams.”
Modus was cofounded in 1987 by Diana Hall and Richard Tither. Vogel joined the company in 1989 and was made partner the following year. Tither left the business in 1991.
“The opportunity to work alongside Vanessa and Carrie on an international stage and to be reunited with Catherine for the merging of ModusBPCM is the perfect next chapter for me,” Vogel said. “Brand communication channels are ever-changing and evolving. Together we are strategically placed to understand, analyze and guide our clients with deep insights, clear thinking and planning that works across global markets with local focus.”