Hearst Magazines’ in-house digital performance marketing agency iCrossing quietly acquired Mediablaze, a London-based digital experience and content marketing agency, on Monday, according to reports.
The acquisition expands on an existing relationship. iCrossing made a minority investment in Mediablaze in 2016, and formed a global content marketing partnership. At the time, the two companies brought the partnership to market as "'Mediablaze: content marketing powered by iCrossing." It was run by the Mediablaze management team.
Mediablaze now joins iCrossing’s U.K. office. The hope is that the acquisition will offer clients full-service marketing in customer experience, digital transformation, performance media and creative-driven content marketing campaigns.
“The joining of our businesses will combine Mediablaze’s digital experience capability with iCrossing U.K.’s powerful media and customer insights, creating a best-in-class agency solution that will help clients transform and accelerate their digital business,” Paul Button, CEO of Mediablaze, told WWD.
Hearst, which bought iCrossing for $325 million in 2010, abandoned plans to fold the ad agency into its magazine division this summer, according to Insider.
The plan would have put iCrossing at the centerpiece of a new Solutions and Services group, so it could compete with WPP and collaborate more closely with Hearst's magazine editorial staff to develop branded content for clients like Toyota and L'Oréal.
MediaPost reached out to iCrossing and Mediablaze. Neither company responded.