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    PA is steps up its agency sector foothold with Hydrogen acquisition

    Hydrogen is the second agency acquired by the PA as it expands beyond media and content services.

    The Press Association has expanded its presence in the advertising sector with the acquisition of Scottish social media agency Hydrogen.

    Despite being known primarily as a wire service, 154-year-old PA Media also owns a portfolio of media and creative businesses in the UK and Ireland, including image licensor Alamy, video tech services company Stream AMG, as well as greyhound and horse racing coverage firm PA Betting and PR and media training provider PA Training.

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    Hydrogen will be its second foray into the agency sector – it already owns digital agency Sticky. In a statement, the group describes the buy as a “strategic addition to PA Media Group… which will complement the services offered by our existing businesses.”

    According to Clive Marshall, chief executive officer of PA Media, “The acquisition of Hydrogen allows PA Media Group to respond to our clients’ increasing demand for social media services. Social media and social commerce are the fastest growing areas of digital marketing in the UK.

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    “Adding expertise and a proven track record in this area to our portfolio opens up opportunities to develop our social offering right across the group.”

    Hydrogen’s clients include whisky distillers Highland Park, cider brewers Magners and energy firm SSE (formerly known as Scottish and Southern Energy). By its own estimation, it’s the largest social agency in Scotland.

    Mike Scott, the founder and chief executive of Hydrogen, said: “It’s exciting to join the PA Media Group family, which will allow us to really accelerate growth opportunities for the Hydrogen brand while supporting the expansion of social media across the wider group.

    “A growth mindset has always been at the heart of everything we do at Hydrogen. It’s allowed us to quickly become the largest social media agency in Scotland and work with amazing brands from across the UK and beyond.”

    The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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