Evoke Group, which includes eight marketing, media and communications firms run by chief executive Reid Connolly from offices at 1 S. Broad St., has acquired a ninth agency, San Francisco-based Giant Creative Strategy, from Los Angeles-based Shamrock Capital. (Earlier versions of this item gave the wrong city for Giant Creative's location.)

Evoke's owner, Huntsworth Plc, paid $72.2 million for a 90.2 percent share in Giant Creative, which it funded with borrowed money. Huntsworth, a  U.K.-based marketing and communications company that works mostly for drug and biotech companies, trades on the London Stock Exchange, where it closed Tuesday at 115, down from a high of 139 last week.

Evoke Group includes Evoke Health, Firsthand, Fabric, Traverse HealthStrategy, Nitrogen Health, Tonic Life Communications, and AboveNation Media, along with Giant Creative Strategy.  Giant Creative is the group's first West Coast office.

Evoke Group will pick up 150 Giant staff, boosting total headcount for the group to 550.  Evoke Group says it “currently works with 18 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies” and other biotech and consumer brands. Giant clients include Genentech, Amgen, BioMarin and Seattle Genetics.

Giant chief executive CEO Steven Gold and president Adam Gelling will remain with the business, which largely serves healthcare companies, Gold said in a statement. They will join Connolly’s executive team.

Gold said Connolly and his Evolve colleagues "built one of the most formidable agencies and agency groups in the marketing and communications sector," and have been "on the forefront of digital since pharma embraced it." Together the firms will sell U.S. and foreign clients "new and expanded offerings."

Besides Philly and L.A., Evoke also has offices in New York, Chicago and London.