Digital Media Solutions Acquires W4, Extends Online Reach

Digital Media Solutions (DMS), a performance-marketing and customer-acquisition agency, has acquired W4 Performance Ad Market, a digital advertising and affiliate marketing network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The purchase gives DMS expanded reach across several online distribution channels, including email, search, display and social, “email being by far the biggest,” says Joe Marinucci, CEO of DMS.

He adds that “email has always been a very high-quality distribution channel that yields great results.” It was one of the underpinnings of the W4 takeover. W4’s media mix also includes SMS, which is “starting to bubble up everywhere in the industry,” Marinucci adds.

W4, which has around 50 employees, will remain in its Santa Monica, California location, and CEO and co-founder Jason Durant Walker will continue to run the business unit as president.

All current employees will stay in place and there will be additional hires as DMS expands its technology and sales teams, according to Marinucci.



DMS is headquartered in Tampa, Florida, and has five locations in the U.S. and one in Canada. With the W4 acquisition, it will have almost 375 employees overall.

“We’ve done six acquisitions over the last four years, and this is the biggest, both in terms of head count and the size from the revenue perspective,” Marinucci says. The company, which provides performance marketing, digital agency services and marketing technology, is “extremely well-positioned” to take advantage of the online ad market, estimated by IAB as $88 billion in 2017,” he claims.   

The firm’s business “won’t quite double from 2017 to 2018, but we will see significant growth,” Marinucci says. The company grew its client base by 41% last year.

Clairvest, a publicly traded equity funding company based in Toronto, owns a minority interest in DMS.

W4 offers ad technology and clicks through its network of online channels, it says. It serves such brands as Fidelity, McAfee, Aetna, ADT, Terminix, Netflix, Microsoft and AARP.


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