MHP Mischief is now an independent agency

Alex Bigg

Next Fifteen Communications Group plc (‘Next 15’) has agreed to buy Engine UK. It will run MHP Mischief as a standalone business when the deal completes early next week. This will make us the UK’s largest independent, full-service communications consultancy.

Today is the latest milestone on a long journey.

In 2010, MHP was born. A number of the people who imbued the business with its fundamental decency remain, as do many of our original clients, like Halma and JD, who have grown to become FTSE100 giants.

In 2017, we began to rewire our business to respond to the challenges of The Networked Age – a digitally-connected communications landscape that’s more tribal and polarised, more activist and dynamic and more fragmented and information-saturated.

In 2019, MHP came together with its sister agency Mischief, because creativity, passionate storytelling and disruptive strategies are fundamental if you want to cut through the noise in a networked world.

Today, we are simply MHP Mischief.

We have enjoyed being part of the Engine family. While we will continue to work closely with our now former colleagues (with whom we share a building and a barista), we believe that we can best serve our clients and colleagues as an independent business.

The best agencies in our industry are all independent. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. They attract talent and clients who believe in earning reputations, building robust arguments and sparking conversations. This is a fundamentally different mindset and approach to other marketing disciplines, and while we can work together beautifully, we believe communications should lead.

Our ambition is to take on the biggest and most challenging briefs, working with the leaders and disruptors who are shaping the future.

With Next 15’s financial backing, we can accelerate our growth plans, investing to bring new talent into our business, broaden our reach and expand our Networked Age IP.

Our plan for the future is inspired by the qualities that got us to this point.

  • This is a client-service business and we will never lose sight of what clients value. As we invest in new capabilities, it will be in response to our clients’ changing needs.
  • Our restlessness has served us well. Complacency is the death of any agency. We will never stop asking what we could be doing better and looking outwards to see what we can learn, rather than gazing at our own navels.
  • Our investment in new thinking and proprietary IP has allowed us to do more effective work and given us a competitive edge. The challenges of The Networked Age continue to grow and we believe combining technological insight and behavioural science will continue to provides us with better answers.

This year is my sixth at MHP Mischief. It’s been fulfilling and eventful and I have loved every minute of it. Almost every minute.

But none of this would have been possible without my colleagues, our clients and our partners, whose hard work, brilliance and trust has got us to this point.

And we’re just getting started.