Earlier this week MDC Partners CFO David Doft told an investment conference gathering that the company would be more acquisitive in 2014 after taking some time to digest a flurry of M&A deals it made in 2010- 2011.
Today the company confirmed it has acquired a majority stake in Luntz Global, the well-known communications and marketing consulting firm. Terms were undisclosed.
Luntz founder and CEO Frank Luntz will remain with the company and take an additional role with MDC—the new position of Chief Language Strategist.
Luntz has made his reputation as a wordsmith helping brands and politicians craft the right messaging language to communicate optimally with the public. He’s credited with having written, supervised and conducted more than 2,500 surveys, focus groups, and ad copy tests in dozens of countries over the past 20 years. His “instant response” focus group technique has been profiled on “60 Minutes” and “Frontline.”
Luntz currently serves as a contributing analyst for both CBS News and Fox News. His firm has worked for such brands as Anheuser-Busch and McDonald’s and politicians including George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan.
Luntz and his company will work with MDC agencies and clients via the holding company’s Strategic Resources Group.
MDC CEO Miles Nadal said that Frank Luntz, as Chief Language Strategist would “utilize his skills and experience across the company to enhance our clients’ marketing and communications effectiveness.”
At the investor conference Doft said the company would be sizing up agencies to invest in with annual revenues in the $10 million to $30 million-range and that would yield a 20% return on investment annually. The company expects that revenue from acquisitions would contribute 3% to 5% of MDC’s annual revenue growth on top of organic growth, which is expected to average 10% annually over the next several years.
Doft said the company is looking specifically for “next wave” creative agencies, insights, analytics and media shops and possibly more PR firms as well. PR shops, Doft said, are “at the forefront of social and content marketing,” and thus acquisitions of such companies offer a “backdoor into those areas.”