Friday, 6th April 2018; Strategem, one of Ireland’s most successful digitally focused, full-service advertising agencies has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by Connelly Partners, the largest full-service independent advertising agency in Boston/Greater New England (USA).

The announcement is a result of a long-term relationship between the two firms, a shared approach to doing business and a sharp focus on new business opportunities domestically, in the US and across Europe. The agency will be rebranded Connelly Partners (Dublin) and Keith Lee, Founder of Strategem, will continue to head up the firm from their existing Irishtown offices, which will now act as a European hub. In addition, Courtney Doyle of Connelly Partners (Boston) has been appointed Managing Partner and will split her time between both locations.

Speaking at the announcement, Keith Lee of Strategem said, “The addition of 65 new jobs in the next three years will be across advertising and client services, web, data, tech, content and shopper marketing.”

Keith continued, “Our approach to advertising has always been about human behaviour and what makes people buy into modern brands. Having vast amounts of data is useless unless you understand the humanity, what makes people tick and why they make the decisions they make. Bringing clients on a journey that provides real, tangible results and crucially return on investment, in a creative and technically advanced manner is in our DNA. Having worked with Connelly Partners on a couple of projects already, we both quickly knew that we shared a similar set of objectives and a similar way of working.”

Both companies were keen to stress that this is an exciting time for current and new clients, who will now benefit from a wider range of planning and creative services with more data science resources and the methodologies. However, Mr Lee also pointed out there will be a period of transition over the coming months as both agencies continue to merge their operations but ultimately the dual European and US locations, will facilitate Irish clients keen to expand into the US, as well as US companies interested in the wider European markets, with an Irish base. With both companies operating in the transport, tourism, food and retail sectors. A collaborative focus on navigating multiple cultures will be of enormous benefit to both.

“Connelly Partners is a people agency. We understand what’s happening around us – from a cultural, political and business perspective – we get what clients want to do, where they want to go, and we use great creativity and technology to deliver results. It’s that powerful mix that will make Connelly Partners (Dublin) a technology hub and launch pad into the UK and wider European markets”, said Courtney Doyle, incoming Managing Partner.

Connelly Partners, founded 18 years ago, employs 150 people in Boston and has a turnover of circa $61 million. Clients include American Express Travel, CIE Tours, Samsonite, Gorton’s Seafood, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts amongst others.

Keith Lee concluded, “The advertising agency world has changed dramatically; nearly as much as human buying and engagement patterns. However, with our highly trained and experienced staff, ability to demonstrate value and investment, as well as cultural insights, we strongly believe that Connelly Partners (Dublin) will be uniquely placed for extraordinary results as new clients and markets, across global economies open up.”


For further information or to arrange an interview please contact

Nikki Gordon PR +353 87 7985759 &
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About Strategem

Keith Lee founded Strategem in 1998 and will head Connelly Partners’ European headquarters in Dublin. Strategem clients/brands include Bus Éireann, Expressway, BWG Foods, EUROSPAR, Shannon Group, Diageo, University of Limerick, Tipperary County Council, Dundalk Credit Union and Our Lady’s Hospice.


About Connelly Partners

Connelly Partners is a full-service advertising and marketing agency that uses empathy to develop relationships and unique connections with consumers. Clients include, American Express Travel, American Tourister, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Babson College, British Virgin Islands Tourism Board, CIE Tours, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Gorton’s Seafood, Kayem Foods, Massachusetts State Lottery, Samsonite, among others. The agency’s loft space in the South End of Boston is filled with over 150 employees accomplished in strategic planning, creative and content generation, media planning and buying, digital strategy/execution, public relations, social media, search, branded entertainment, integrated production and analytics. Connelly Partners has been recognized for its workplace culture by Advertising Age, Boston Business Journal, Boston Globe and BostInno, among others. Visit for more information.

Steve Connelly, Co-Founder, President & passionate copywriter, of Connelly Partners commented, “We were looking for an established but digitally savvy agency; with a headquarters in Europe – so we can expand into other markets – and critically, one that had the same culture as ourselves. With eighty percent of global technology companies located in Ireland including Facebook, Google and HP the country boasts one of the youngest workforces in the world and is poised to become the only native English-speaking country in the European Union, because of Brexit. As an agency Strategem operating locally, it fits the bill perfectly and we are looking forward providing existing and new clients with our very strong offering.”