London-based Digital and Direct (DAD) was acquired by the global advertising and technology firm SapientNitro today for £26 million, or roughly $42 million.
DAD brings a proprietary campaign measurement platform to Boston-based SapientNitro as well as notable U.K. brand clients like GSK, Sky, and Vodafone. DAD has been in the direct response marketing business for 20 years and employs 200 in London, Munich, and Amsterdam. It will fold its brand into the new parent, while CEO Ray Fine reports to SapientNitro's U.K. managing director Nigel Vaz.
Fine said in a prepared statement, "This combination of digital immersion and direct response accountability has been our successful formula. I am thrilled to join SapientNitro, which is leading the way in today’s digitally disrupted world."
Meanwhile, there's been a flurry of acquisitions by agencies like SapientNitro during 2011. Last month, WPP Digital purchased Arkansas-based shop Rockfish Interactive. That deal followed on the heels of Publicis' purchase of 51 percent of Big Fuel, a New York-based social media shop that has grown from 30 to 170 employees in the last 18 months.
Earlier in the year, WPP acquired a stake in F. Biz, a digital agency in Brazil. Prior to that, it wrapped up four of its digital agencies - Schematic, Bridge Worldwide, BLUE, and Quasar - into a single unit known as Possible Worldwide.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014