Harbor has acquired advertising-focussed colour and finishing house Cheat.

The deal was announced by Harbor Founder and CEO Zak Tucker. Clients will now have access to the colourist rosters of both Harbor and Cheat across entertainment and advertising and Harbor has appointed former Absolute MD, Dan Bennett, as Managing Director, Advertising, UK to oversee the division.

The deal accelerates Harbor’s advertising capabilities in London and expands the company’s VFX and colour grading roster in the UK. The Cheat acquisition will allow Harbor to “further invest in cross-over and emerging talent in advertising seeking to segue into entertainment.” The combine will be based at Harbor’s Turnmills studio.

Zak Tucker said: “Bringing Cheat and its team into the fold extends our ability to locally serve our global Entertainment and Advertising clients from Los Angeles to Chicago and Atlanta, to New York, and now the United Kingdom.  Moreover, it adds very special, sought-after artists and producers to our crew, affording for multi-geographical opportunities and creative collaborations, both centerpieces of Harbor’s promise to clients and ourselves.”

CHEAT Founder and Senior Colourist Toby Tomkins said: “I’m delighted to join the Harbor team and be part of such a creative and forward-thinking company. The combined strength of our artistry will continue to propel our teams and creativity forward.  I can’t wait to see what we will achieve together.”

James Corless, Harbor’s UK Commercial Director said “I’ve long admired CHEAT and what Toby has built with the team there. It’s an artist lead facility that has been at the forefront of identifying and supporting new talent both on the client side and in house with its colourist roster. I look forward to working with the team there as both Harbor and CHEAT continue to expand in the UK.”

EVP of Strategy and Operations at Harbor, Massimo D’Avolio, said: “When our business leaders in the UK approached us with the option to acquire Cheat, we quickly agreed that it was aligned with the ethos of Harbor as we are committed to foster entrepreneurs and give them the opportunity to expand creatively and facilitate their ability to increase capabilities by leveraging Harbor’s global presence.”

Harbor’s Advertising UK division will be led by Dan Bennett, who joins Harbor in the role of Managing Director, Advertising, UK. He will oversee creative operations of Harbor’s advertising business in the UK and EMEA region whilst working in tandem with Tony Robins, Managing Director, Advertising, North America.

Jon Creamer

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