With Innovation Interactive, Dentsu Finally Gets Its Digital Ad Shop


handshake_small.jpgADOTAS – After having its $700 million bid for Razorfish denied, Japanese ad agency Dentsu has been shouting from the rooftops that it was on the hunt for a digital ad shop.

It’s finally a bagged a winner: Dentsu Holdings USA announced that it has acquired Innovation Interactive — the parent company of digital ad shop 360i, paid search manager SearchIgnite and audience optimizer Netmining — for a reported $200 million, according to sources.

Innovation Interactive, which claimed to have brought home $61 million in revenue in 2009 and predicts $80 million in 2010, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Densu and work alongside other U.S. units, including creative shop Attik and mcgarrybowen.

Dentsu has been trying to beef up its American online ad presence for some time. In late summer, the agency watched as Publicis Groupe swept Razorfish away from Microsoft with a slighter $530 million bid (interestingly, Denstu has held a 15% share of Publicis Groupe since 2002).

However, according to Dentsu’s press release, along with some lovey-dovey stuff about complementary strengths and whatnot, the company mentioned it had been in talks with Innovation Interactive fora year, well before the Razorfish offer was turned down. Innovation Interactive is not quite the feather in Dentsu’s cap that Razorfish might have been, but it does bolster Dentsu’s offerings greatly.

Still, Dentsu’s hunting days may not be over yet — search marketer iCrossing, which took in $120 million in revenue last year, is looking to get bought and PaidContent.org reported that analysts had considered Dentsu a potential buyer.



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