Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) is continuing to bolster its services to its clients by buying a German digital shop and expanding its proprietary technology platform Content@Scale.
The Publicis-owned agency is acquiring AKOM360, a leading German digital agency. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Under the deal, the agency will join the SMG network but will continue to operate under the "AKOM360" name and existing leaders Curt Simon Harlinghausen and Sven Lackmann will continue to lead the agency, reporting to Iain Jacob, president EMEA for SMG. In addition, Harlinghausen will add to his responsibilities the position of chief digital officer EMEA for SMG.
The 60-staff agency provides a full range of digital marketing services, including mobile, social media and content marketing, app development, SEO, online reputation management, business modelling, UX and responsive design. With offices in Dusseldorf, Berlin, Munich and Hamburg, its roster of clients include Ferrero, Freenet Group, Mercedes Benz, LEGO, SIEMENS and Metro Group.
Germany is a key focus for SMG's parent Publicis Groupe. During the past 12 months, SMG Germany has won 15 new clients and brought on board senior talent including Boris Meixner as digital director and Kai Meader as client services director.
“We are very happy and excited to be a part of the SMG family and combined with the Starcom Mediavest Group team in Frankfurt, we are now able to offer a one-stop-shop for all digital and creative services -- national and international," says Harlinghausen, CEO at AKOM360.
“AKOM360 is a fantastic addition to the SMG network and we welcome on board the whole team,” says Jacob. “We have a strong, talented team in Germany, led by Stefan Uhl, and this acquisition is designed to build and strengthen the momentum and great work we have already achieved in the market.”
Separately SMG is adding new video and native distribution channels to Content@Scale, a platform that lets marketers tap into existing content — from brand Web sites, YouTube videos, Tweets and Facebook — or leverage more than 200,000 pieces of unique licensed content produced by more than 36 publishers and 135 content contributors, including CBSi, Kiplinger, MODE, Popsugar and AOL for their campaigns.
This month, the platform will expand to video and native programming. Content@Scale Video, in partnership with Innovid, enables brands to transform their pre-roll video into interactive and real-time campaigns. For instance, Mondelez International is currently leveraging the platform to promote its summer campaign, #PassTheLove, around soccer. The initiative — the company’s largest multi-brand program to date — is rallying support for the U.S. Women’s National Team as the squad competes for the world title in Canada. A massive digital and social media campaign is driving consumers to share messages of support on a Digital Fan Wall on PassTheLove.com, as well as in social media with hashtag #PassTheLove.
Content@Scale Native, in partnership with Nativo, allows brands to sponsor and distribute licensed content from SMG’s "private premium content marketplace," in addition to their owned assets.
“Brands that want to succeed in today’s content marketing environment need to develop in-the-moment experiences that can be amplified and measured across paid media,” said Lisa Weinstein, president of global digital, Data and Analytics at SMG. “Working with Flite, Innovid and Nativo give us the ability to immediately equip brands to drive everyday relevancy, react in real-time and make assets work harder to achieve increased efficiencies across key digital channels.”