Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired Seattle-based Filter, a leading experience design and digital marketing company serving Fortune 100 CPG and enterprise technology clients with embedded teams, on-site agencies, and fully outsourced solutions. Filter will join Merkle, a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency.
Filter’s deep expertise and executional horsepower add significant capability and scale, accelerating Merkle’s growth and differentiation through its next-generation delivery model for digital marketing services.
The business will now become Filter, a Merkle Company, led by current Filter CEO, Joe Melanson, with current Filter chairwoman, Kristin Knight, serving as strategic advisor to Filter, and Terry Harnisch, Filter’s CFO, remaining as part of the management team. Melanson will report to Craig Dempster, president, Merkle Americas.
Filter was founded in 1991 and has offices in Seattle and Portland. The company helps leading brands develop and deliver better customer experiences, multi-channel campaigns and virtual realities by embedding its proven expertise inside the client’s own organisation. This pioneering approach fills the client’s need for closer collaboration, deep sector knowledge, data confidentiality, and transparency.
Dave Braun, executive vice president, customer experience, Merkle said: “The acquisition of Filter is strategically important for Merkle. In addition to adding depth to our digital marketing, visual design, and customer experience capabilities, Filter brings expertise in virtual reality and 3-D design. I am particularly excited about Filter’s experienced management team and their primary engagement model for clients, which features teams on-site and embedded with in-house client resources to provide marketing solutions. This delivery model is gaining traction across many industry verticals and is especially prevalent among the innovation companies, such as Google, Facebook, T-Mobile, Microsoft, and Amazon.”
Craig Dempster, president of Merkle Americas, said: “Merkle wholeheartedly jumped into the user experience design business with the acquisition of axis41, and it was always our intention to expand these capabilities. We are impressed by Filter’s client roster and excited about this alternative to an agency-based solution. The scaling of our in-house agency solutions broadens our ability to address client demand for alternative engagement models.”
Joe Melanson, CEO of Filter, said: “We’re excited to be joining Merkle, for the instant scale it brings to Filter and our clients, and the growth opportunities it provides for our employees. We have a pioneering approach to embedding our deep expertise, integrating teams and on-site agencies to collaborate closely with leading brands on their most vital marketing and customer experience initiatives. We believe this aligns perfectly with Merkle’s leadership in digital transformation. Through this partnership we can provide a world-class range of services and capabilities to enterprise clients in any market.”
Kristin Knight, chairwoman of Filter, said: “Filter has a long and vibrant history, so a key priority was ensuring a strong cultural and professional fit for our employees and our clients. As an innovative, growth-focused agency, Merkle shares our vision and recognized our strengths. They’re an ideal partner to advance our business to exciting new heights.”
Merkle is continuing to grow in the Americas and around the world. This is the fifth acquisition in 12 months for Merkle and the eleventh since joining Dentsu Aegis Network in 2016.