DAN's Merkle Expands UX Capabilities With Filter Acquisition

It’s been a busy news week for Dentsu Aegis. Here’s the latest:

Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired Seattle-based Filter, an experience design and digital marketing company.

Filter works with big-league package goods and enterprise tech clients providing embedded teams and on-site agencies fully outsourced solutions.

Filter will be aligned with DAN’s performance marketing firm Merkle and be rebranded Filter, a Merkle Company.

The newly acquired firm will continue to be led by Filter CEO, Joe Melanson, who will report to Craig Dempster, president, Merkle Americas. 

Current Filter chairwoman Kristin Knight will become a strategic advisor to Filter and Terry Harnisch, Filter’s CFO, will remain part of the management team. 

Filter was founded in 1991 and has offices in Seattle and Portland, Oregon. The company helps brands develop and deliver better customer experiences and multichannel campaigns. The firm also has expertise in virtual reality and 3-D design.



For Merkle, the deal represents an expansion of its user-experience design capabilities, which it has offered since its acquisition of axis41 in 2016. “It was always our intention to expand these capabilities,” said Dempster. He added Merkle was “impressed by Filter’s client roster,” which includes Nike, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

Filter’s business model with embedded/on-site teams was also a draw, said Demptser, noting “the scaling of our in-house agency solutions broadens our ability to address client demand for alternative engagement models.”

Word of the acquisition today follows news earlier in the week that Dentsu Aegis has expanded its media assignment with Procter & Gamble and brought on marketing-agency veteran Brian Monahan as global client president, Team Intel and head of U.S. ventures.


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