Growthops Adds Public Relations Capability with FORWARD Acquisition

9 February 2023

GrowthOps today announces it has acquired award-winning creative consumer public relations agency FORWARD, expanding the group's capabilities in high-growth sectors.

The acquisition will see GrowthOps bring earned media, influencer marketing, brand social content and activation capabilities to its clients around Australia and the APAC region.

By joining forces with GrowthOps, FORWARD will have access to a broad range of strategy, creative and digital services from GrowthOps' other leading agencies, including AJF Partnership, Khemistry, PENSO and GO Digital.

FORWARD, a B Corporation (B Corp), was founded by Fergus Kibble in 2012. Fergus has client-side experience in senior marketing roles at Unilever, Kellogg and Bristol Myers, as well as previously working as a brand and digital strategist at Leo Burnett in London, Sydney and Tokyo, and as General Manager at Hill+Knowlton Strategies Australia, a WPP global PR agency. In December 2022, Fergus was inducted as a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia.

Leading the talented team at FORWARD, Fergus will continue as FORWARD Managing Director and key senior client counsel and communications strategist. As a member of the GrowthOps leadership team, he will contribute to the expansion of GrowthOps’ services across Australia and throughout the region.

FORWARD Managing Director Fergus Kibble said, "FORWARD turned ten last year, so the time seems right to take this major step in achieving our agency's growth ambition by joining one of Australia's fastest-growing independent growth experience groups. I am incredibly proud of our high-calibre team, and this move represents recognition of their significant achievements, capabilities and strength.

“I am excited about the future possibilities that GrowthOps and FORWARD can create and the potential to scale and deliver innovative solutions and competitive advantage for our clients. There is strong alignment in the vision and values between our organisations. I am looking forward to working with Clint and the rest of the GrowthOps leadership team."

GrowthOps CEO Clint Cooper said, "Fergus and the rest of the FORWARD team have built one of Australia's most creative and awarded consumer PR agencies. We are thrilled they will be joining the GrowthOps’ stable. The move will enhance our ability to offer our clients end-to-end integrated creative, digital and earned campaigns.

“The acquisition is another important milestone as we realise a new stage of growth for the group. It follows the expansion of our digital capabilities and reach into the Middle East just over a year ago with the acquisition of digital strategy consultancy, PENSO.

“Like the PENSO acquisition, we expect the FORWARD acquisition will turbocharge collaboration across the group to meet the full spectrum of our clients’ needs, helping to fuel growth in Australia, Asia and the Middle East.”

Fergus Kibble (L) Managing Director, FORWARD and Clint Cooper (R) CEO, GrowthOps