Aegis Acquires iProspect for $50M

  |  December 22, 2004   |  Comments

UPDATE: Top SEM firm will be foundation for Aegis' search practices in 24 countries.

UK-based Aegis Group announced today that it has acquired privately held search engine marketing firm iProspect for $50 million.

The deal will give Aegis 100 percent of the SEM firm's equity, which was previously held by its founders. Aegis will pay $32 million in cash and $18 million in deferred cash over two years, subject to iProspect's performance.

iProspect will continue on as a standalone brand, keeping all 85 employees, including founder and CEO Fredrick Marckini and president Robert Murray. The company also plans to aggressively hire to meet its expanded needs, Marckini said.

Watertown, Mass.-based iProspect will become part of Isobar, Aegis' umbrella brand created in July 2004 to house its worldwide digital and one-to-one assets, which include Boston's Carat Interactive, Korea's Agency W, Australia's One Digital, and China's WWWINS. This is Isobar's first acquisition in the U.S. market, and the seventh for Isobar globally in the past six months. Aegis' media operations are held under the Bizeum brand, and its research is under the Synovate brand.

"We believe that iProspect and search engine marketing fit hand-in-glove with Isobar's vision of the future of digital marketing," Marckini said. "Most importantly, our new place within the Isobar family will give us global reach and a direct affiliation with some of the world's most talented and innovative digital agencies."

According to Sarah Fay, president of Carat Interactive and Isobar U.S., Isobar's worldwide network sets it apart from other agencies, and iProspect's expertise, training practices, and technology will help those worldwide agencies develop their own search practices. iProspect's iSEBA search marketing tool provides PPC bid management, campaign tracking and reporting.

iProspect has been running campaigns in other countries and languages since 1998, but the demand has only heated up in the past year, Marckini said. The company's technology and processes for optimizing campaigns can be universally applied, since search engine algorithms don't change from country to country. The challenge has been in working with keywords in multiple languages. That's where Isobar's local agencies will be able to take the lead, he said.

iProspect topped a list of organic optimization leaders in a recent JupiterResearch report, and was named a challenger in paid listings.

Fay said this move signals a growing movement toward the mainstream for SEM. "We believe that search engine marketing will become a fundamental part of mainstream marketing. It already represents more than 30 percent of online advertising spend in the U.S., and is a key driver in our industry's growth," Fay said.

ClickZ Live San Francisco Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco! (August 10-12) Educating marketers for over 15 years, we return to San Francisco this August with our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda that will cover every aspect of digital marketing. Early Bird rates available through Friday, July 17 - save up to $300! Register today.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Newcomb

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

US Consumer Device Preference Report

US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.

WEBINARS

Jobs

  • Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC
    Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC (Charter Communications) - StamfordSr. Marketing Specialist, PPC– Digital Marketing Charter Communications...
  • Online Marketing Analyst
    Online Marketing Analyst (FULLBEAUTY Brands ) - New YorkINTRODUCTION: Are you interested in a unique career opportunity where you can represent...
  • Copy Editor
    Copy Editor (ClickZ / Search Engine Watch) - New YorkROLE OVERVIEW The role of the copy editor for ClickZ has many demands. Ultimately, the copy...