Australian Marketing Group Bastion Collective Establishes U.S. Beachhead

Bastion Collective, the largest privately owned marketing and communications group in Australia, is allocating $11 million (or 20% of its $55 million year-over-year revenue) to building a U.S. holding company comprised of marketing, advertising, PR, and branding agencies.

According to the company, this new division, anchored in Southern California, is designed to take advantage of the rapidly changing advertising landscape.

Dax Cornelius, who served as a highly decorated US Air Force F-16 combat fighter pilot, will serve as CEO/USA and is tasked with replicating the formula Bastion has internationally.

The Collective has already acquired three agencies in the SoCal area: LFPR, a PR and social media agency, that was acquired and rebranded as Bastion Elevate; Rare Branding, a digital marketing agency, and Digital Brand Group, a web and mobile application development services company. The last two have been rebranded together as Bastion Rare.

“Smaller, more nimble and innovative agencies are already pivoting in the industry as they understand two things: clients have become equally cost, revenue and value driven; and relevant communications agencies understand the way people consume content,” says Cornelius. “Relying on a big name, throwing money at campaigns and old marketing service solutions don’t move the needle anymore.”

He says Bastion Collective is creating a culture that “allows creative, driven service solutions agencies to come together, utilize one another’s value and deliver superior results in today’s evolving marketplace.”

This concept differs from what others in the industry have done by refraining from acquiring competing agencies or businesses with overlapping services. Instead, each agency acquired by Bastion will add its singular set of core competencies and varied industry expertise, all designed to enable each agency to provide support for the other’s business and clients.

At Bastion Collective, heads of the respective agencies within the group have some ownership interest.

“By our CEO’s having skin in the game and being allowed to run their respective business, the agencies within the Collective are able to maintain a mentality of service-before-self, clients before margin and plug into the success of other agencies within Bastion Collective in the U.S. and across the globe,” said Fergus Watts, founder and executive chairman, Bastion Collective.

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