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February 17, 2012

APCO Acquires Majority Interest in StrawberryFrog to Bring New Global Communication Model to Major Brands

APCO Worldwide (www.apcoworldwide.com/) has acquired a majority interest in movement-marketing agency StrawberryFrog, APCO Founder and CEO Margery Kraus announced. The investment will pair APCO's international stakeholder-engagement and business-strategy expertise with StrawberryFrog's skill in creating innovative cultural movements, accelerating a shared vision to provide communication counsel and execution to some of the world's most iconic brands.

"Clients understand that persuasion today requires finding points of shared interest and then launching campaigns that connect emotionally, whether they are marketing products, enhancing reputation or advocating on issues," said Kraus. "StrawberryFrog's focus on movements is incredibly relevant for clients today and in the future, and it aligns perfectly with APCO's approach to stakeholder engagement. We believe this partnership is a breakthrough idea, and we are thrilled to have found a talented team with impressive leadership, a legacy of strategic and creative excellence, high-caliber clients and a wonderful business trajectory."

"We have an ambition to be more active on the global stage and doing it differently than other agency networks," said Scott Goodson, StrawberryFrog chairman and co-founder. "We've had many suitors over the years, but we found in APCO an incredible meeting of minds and vision. APCO's independent spirit and global pedigree is a strong cultural and strategic fit with StrawberryFrog. We know this will offer an opportunity to further power our philosophy of cultural movements as we move forward." Launched in 1999, StrawberryFrog will maintain its own culture, brand, creative independence and management, including Goodson, Chief Creative Officer Kevin McKeon and Co-Founder Karin Drakenberg, who lead a team well known for conceiving innovative campaigns for many of the world's strongest brands.

"The StrawberryFrog difference has always been our culture and unique 'challenger' mindset – our little red frog symbolizes our efforts to challenge the dinosaurs of our industry," said Goodson. "We believe creativity and a commitment to movement marketing is what enables companies to outperform competitors and redefine their categories. We are taking the leap with APCO because they fundamentally understand and respect our philosophy and are dedicated to helping our culture thrive globally."

Leveraging APCO's international client portfolio and network, the company plans to use this investment as a springboard to strengthen and expand its global presence. APCO and StrawberryFrog will each continue to serve their own clients while looking to collaborate in new ways that bring next-generation thinking to their diverse client portfolios. Along with its core creative and digital businesses StudioAPCO and APCO Online, APCO will bring to bear its proprietary research models and presence in 32 global markets.

Said Kraus: "The world is changing, and so are the needs of clients. Stakeholders are interacting with brands in new and complex ways, wielding real power and measurable influence while significantly raising expectations for companies. Throughout APCO's 28-year history, we've worked to understand the relationships between people, companies and society. Just as we've built a leading reputation for helping clients create lasting engagement with diverse stakeholder audiences, StrawberryFrog has developed a proven, innovative movement-marketing approach, which has become an emerging new trend in marketing in the United States and around the world. Together, we can deliver remarkable results."

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