Thinking Juice, the multi award-winning integrated agency based in Bournemouth has merged with Aylesworth Fleming as part of the Emerge Group – one of the UK’s largest independent integrated marketing communications groups.

The merger see the group’s headcount expand to 165 with offices in Bournemouth, Surrey, Manchester and Edinburgh. Gellan Watt, Managing Director said: “The combination of Aylesworth Fleming’s nationwide resource and TJ’s cutting edge creativity makes for an irresistible proposition for potential clients. We intend to capitalise on the strength of both teams and use the two very different skill sets where they are best suited for a specific brief.

“While we are determined to stay nimble and innovative, we will also have a nationwide team around 165 strong to deliver a comprehensive service to a much wider range of clients.”

The move was officially announced by Emerge Group’s board of directors over breakfast at Bournemouth’s Carlton Hotel to more than 100 of its south coast-based staff. The group is currently looking to recruit around six new people in various creative and strategic roles.

Aylesworth Fleming founder, and Emerge Chairman Matt Fleming said: “I have long been an admirer of Thinking Juice and all that it stands for and I have already worked alongside Gellan on a collaborative pitch for an international business looking for an agency to develop its residential brand in the UK. We were one of six competing for the account and I’m delighted to say we won it.

He went on: “The profile of our business is changing and this is definitely a change in direction. There will be some big changes, but we have some fantastic people here and we are really going to focus on creativity in the group. The atmosphere when we announced the move to the staff was very positive, the staff even laughed at my jokes. There are no negatives, we want to be the best agency outside London and everything will be buoyed by the addition of Thinking Juice. Obviously we will have a broader business base and that means more opportunities for our staff to emerge within the group.”

The move also sees Gellan Watt taking on the role of Main Board Director / MD and Chief Creative Officer, which will see him assuming responsibility for all of the Emerge Group’s creative output from its offices in the South, Manchester and Edinburgh. Debbie Watt will head up Thinking Juice’s development internationally as Head of Client Service.

Immediate plans revolve around locating large enough office premises in Bournemouth to enable Emerge and Thinking Juice to be brought together physically under one roof, which is expected to happen within the next three to six months.