The new Bold management: Lindo Ganarin, Philippe Hansen (both Bold), Moritz Adler, Marco Mesot (from Formeldrei) and Tino Niederberger (Bold) team up (from left).
Through the merger, the agencies would like to be able to support their customers with their accumulated know-how in an even more efficient, versatile and flexible way in all communication matters.
Formeldrei will leave its name and location behind as an equal partner and move to Bold at Konsumstrasse 20. The subsidiary Arillo will come along and thus provide targeted reinforcement in the areas of technology and UX under the same roof.
As co-founder, Marco Mesot has been with Formeldrei for 17 years, Moritz Adler joined a short time later as Managing Partner. The functions of both remain unchanged in the new constellation: Mesot is responsible for concept, consulting and services at Bold, Adler for concept and creation.
"Consequently, we would have had to rename ourselves Formula Five - not an enticing prospect"
Bold is strengthened, the brand Formeldrei "disappears" - and with it the agency location of the creative forge founded in 2003. Under the name Bold, the two Bernese agencies are joining forces and preparing for the future. In an interview with Werbewoche.ch, the two partners Marco Mesot and Moritz Adler talk about how the merger came about - and whether saying goodbye to Formeldrei also hurts a little.
Werbewoche.ch: Why are Bold and Formeldrei joining forces?
Marco Mesot: Quite simply: Because it makes sense! We are roughly the same size, have similar views and complementary strengths. The connection thus creates a differentiated synergy potential from which everyone can only benefit.
When was the decision made?
Moritz Adler: Philippe Hansen, one of the founders of Bold, previously worked for us and is also a friend in private. So it was only natural that we would talk shop together over an after-work beer. At some point, the topic of a merger came up. Since last fall, this "beer idea" has gradually become reality - much to the delight of everyone involved.
In today's world, does a small, non-specialized agency have no chance of survival in the longer term?
Mesot: We can't say that, because we don't see ourselves that way and aren't perceived that way by our customers. But if "non-specialized" is understood to mean that we like to think interdisciplinary and outside the box, and act in an agile manner, then we are happy to claim that for ourselves.
A prominent client of Formeldrei was always Parisienne. Did the changing advertising strategy of the tobacco companies - away from cigarettes - and increasing legal restrictions have an influence on the agency's development?
Mesot: The changes in the tobacco market did not come as a surprise and therefore had relatively little influence on the development of Formeldrei. But we are pleased and proud to continue working for Parisienne as Bold. 17 years of customer loyalty - something like that cannot be taken for granted.
How has the advertising market changed since Formeldrei was founded in 2003 until the merger in 2020?
Eagle: The biggest change was certainly the triumph of online communication in all areas. Here, the merger with Bold allows us to benefit from in-depth know-how that was previously unavailable. Our subsidiary Arillo Switzerland also guarantees additional back-up in the areas of technology and UX design. Fortunately, some things have not changed. For example, a good idea is still a good idea and a good picture is a good picture. By combining our strengths, we are thus well prepared for the future.
Will existing Formeldrei clients and mandates be taken along and newly serviced by Bold?
Mesot: We are pleased to say that all Formeldrei customers have reacted positively to the porting to Bold. One advantage is certainly that contact persons and processes remain unchanged. In addition, customers will benefit from the additional know-how of the united team as a result of the merger. Continuity in management with simultaneous expansion of services - that is really rare in our industry.
Will all employees be transferred to the new agency?
Eagle: Neither Formeldrei nor Bold had to cut jobs as a result of the merger.
Although Formeldrei has existed on the market for longer, they decided to use the name Bold when they merged. Why?
Mesot: The three in our name originally stood for ownership. Consequently, we would have had to call ourselves Formula Five - not an enticing prospect. Instead, we listened to our gut and unanimously decided on Bold. Simply because we believe in the potential of the name and the associated attitude: Be Bold or Italic, but never Regular.
Does it pain you to give up the name Formeldrei and the location of the agency after so many years?
Eagle: Less than expected. Instead of mourning the past, we'd much rather look forward to the future.