U.S. printing giant Quad/Graphics to acquire advertising agency Periscope

Eric Ashworth.

The aim of the recent acquisition, said the company, is “to become an alternative to agency holding companies that often tack on extra fees and services for brands.” Periscope will help Quad/Graphics’ produce creative for client ads – including TV and video. Quad/Graphics (Sussex, Wisconsin) intends to acquire Minneapolis-based advertising agency Periscope for $132 million (USD). The 47-year-old printing company is best known for magazines and direct mail, but has increasingly moved into agencies’ activities and services in recent years with an advertising-services arm called BlueSoho, advertising agency Ivie & Associates, and a majority stake in digital shop Rise Interactive.

“We made an investment in a group called Ivie & Associates, a production shop, and we made an investment in Rise Interactive to get better visibility into online consumer behaviour,” said Eric Ashworth, Executive Vice President of Product Solutions and Market Strategy at Quad/Graphics, to industry publication Business Insider. “As we were looking for a world-class strategy and creative group, we found Periscope. They believed an integrated offering is really what the marketplace needs right now. Working with siloed agencies in different media verticals was kind of a broken, expensive and complicated solution that clients are forced to use right now.

Elizabeth Ross.

The aim is the creation of a world-class integrated-marketing-services organization that’s really able to answer clients’ needs without necessarily asking them to compromise in the same way a holding company would. It’s built to address where clients’ core needs are – whether that need is around understanding how their product sits inside of a grocery store, to how their product is merchandised inside of Amazon, all the way up to awareness campaigns that are television-based and video-based.”

Periscope President and CEO Elizabeth Ross added: “We started to evaluate the future of Periscope about 10 months ago and all the options out there – consultancies, holding companies, new holding companies, international companies. We met the leadership team at Quad/Graphics, where we felt like this is something really amazing.”


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.