Gaggi Media and VMC Media announce merger

The two teams will come together at VMC's downtown Toronto headquarters as the largest independent media agency in Canada.

An independent agency joining forces with another company usually involves an acquisition from a holding conglomerate. That’s not how the story goes for Gaggi Media and VMC Media, however. The two independents have joined forces and merged to become Gaggi-VMC.

John Marraffino, owner of VMC Media, got his start in the industry working under Gaggi Media founder Laura Gaggi at Vickers & Benson. Marraffino said he stayed in touch with his first boss throughout his career, and the pair have been talking about working together again for the past few years.

When formed, Gaggi-VMC will become the largest independent Canadian media agency, with about 40 staff working out of VMC’s King St. West location in downtown Toronto.

VMC Media was founded in 1996, while Gaggi Media came to market in 1992. Marraffino said the merger makes sense both from a scale point-of-view and because the cultures and values align as small agencies. But the agencies also fill in gaps for one another, he said. While VMC Media has a digital media department, for instance, Gaggi Media’s is larger, so the combined department will have more power.

Laura Gaggi (who handed the president’s role at her company to Kelly Dutton five years ago) said she will be staying on at the merged company, but in a role that’s more behind-the-scenes.

While VMC Media has kept its head down in the past, Marraffino said to expect more waves from the newly combined Gaggi-VMC.

“We will be aggressive in the next couple years,” he said. “We have always flown under the radar, but we plan on making some big moves.”



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