Vancouver’s Mediology buys PR firm LBMG

In the midst of a period of what it describes as “strong growth,” independent media planning and buying firm Mediology has acquired a controlling interest in Vancouver PR firm Laura Ballance Media Group (LBMG). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Established in 2008, LBMG is the PR agency behind numerous high-profile Vancouver events including the Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver International Auto Show, Honda Celebration of Light, and the Vancouver International Boat Show.

It is also the agency of record for several west coast businesses and non-profit organizations, including the Forest Products Association of Canada, Blueprint, the BC Sports Hall of Fame, Hospitality Vancouver Association, CUPE 8911, and the Downtown Surrey BIA.

LBMG will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Mediology (formerly David Stanger & Associates Inc.), with founder Laura Ballance assuming the role of president for the next year before shifting her focus to client service. “At this point in my career, I’m very focused on getting back to being able to spend time doing the client work, rather than all the all the other things that come with running an agency,” she said.

Mediology first entered into a strategic partnership with LBMG late last year in a move that partner, director of strategic solutions Tom Shipman said at the time was designed to offer “enhanced” media planning and buying, PR and communications services to their combined list of clients.

That move enabled LBMG to focus solely on its PR expertise while ensuring that clients had access to crucial media services, said Ballance. “We became their PR arm and they became our [media planning and buying] arm,” she said. “It worked well, and those discussions continued over to the acquisition.”

LBMG employed just over 20 people pre-Covid, but the loss of live events forced it to scale back to around eight today. It is currently rebuilding its staff as events return, with Ballance anticipating that its headcount could rise to 12 before the end of the year, and as many as 15 by spring of 2023.

Ballance said she expects LBMG to match Mediology’s upward trajectory, which has seen it grow to five offices in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. “I think there’s a keen interest to take that agency to the next level, and look at supporting offices across the country.”

“LBMG has built a long-standing and excellent reputation across a range of industries and sectors, and through their media and public relations as well as crisis communications work, they are well positioned to support companies during this time of significant transformation in Canada,” said Mediology founder and partner Sam Richardson in a release.

Chris Powell