Birmingham-based digital specialists Lightbox and Blake7 announce merger

Fast-growing Birmingham agency Lightbox has merged with city digital company Blake7.

Lightbox was founded by digital entrepreneur Rob Pollard in 2005 and was crowned small business of the year at the Birmingham Awards in 2017.

Social media specialist Blake7 was founded in 2017 by well-known Birmingham businessman PJ Ellis, who also co-founded the LoveBrum charity, helping to raise substantial amounts for local good causes.

The two agencies have merged to help take advantage of the skills and services provided by both, at a time of increased demand for digital support in the region, particularly in website design and build, SEO and social media.

Rob Pollard remains as CEO of the new outfit, while PJ Ellis takes on the role of Commercial Director and joins the Board of Directors. The company will continue to be called Lightbox Digital and work from John Bright Street in the city centre.

Lightbox has experienced exceptional growth in recent years and the merger takes the company’s staff number to 16.

Turnover has tripled from £180,000 three years ago to a projected £825,000 for 2018/19.

The agency recently unveiled a new visual identity with a supporting tagline that reads ‘Making Digital Human’. The new image and brand reinforces the Lightbox mission to cut through tech jargon and place people first.

The company’s footprint and brand association is Birmingham; working with city companies and organisations such as Rightio, Elta Group, Clearabee, Associated Architects, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Wesleyan, University of Birmingham School and Speller Metcalfe.

Birmingham-based Skirting Boards Direct has reported a 126% increase in online sales since Lightbox launched its new ecommerce website.

Among the Blake7 clients who will now work with Lightbox are Birmingham Law Society, Centrick Property, Professional Polishing Services and South and City College.

Rob Pollard said:

“We have invested in Birmingham and we’re excited to call it our home. We have committed to being in the heart of the city, and this merger is a further example this commitment.

“The Lightbox growth strategy has seen an investment in staff to deliver trust and professionalism to our partners, while helping to nurture our up-and-coming talent.

“Experience came with the appointment of Anthony Bisseker, who joined Lightbox as Relationship Director after spells with organisations such as the CBSO and Marketing Birmingham.

“Despite an incredible period of success, we will never stand still, and continue to invest in our systems, software and people to ensure Lightbox remains relevant and robust for the future.”

PJ Ellis added:

“Rob and I have been speaking for some time about our growing businesses and how our own skill-sets, and those of our teams, could complement each other.

“We concluded there was no point competing with one another and by merging we could combine the skills, services and contacts provided by Blake7 and Lightbox for the benefit of all our clients.

“These are truly exciting times in the West Midlands with the arrival of new businesses, infrastructure and creative people launching new companies. We want to be right at the heart of this and have ambitious growth plans to meet this demand.”

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