it was only a matter of time before Miles Nadals’ ambitious marcoms group MDC Partners tackled the world of media planning and buying in a serious way and it has taken the plunge by buying a majority stake in US media independentTarget Cast, managed by founders Steve Farella and Audrey Siegel.
TargetCast claims billings of around $600m from clients including Pfizer, Expedia and hotels.com. It will be the cornerstone of a new media grouping called Maxxcom Global Media which also includes MDC buys Integrated Media Solutions, The Media Kitchen, RJ Palmer, and Varick Media Management. Maxcomm as a whole, which will be led by Farella, claims billings of $1.5bn.
“Over the last two years, we have deliberately built up a deep stable of progressive media strategy and activation offerings in order to bring our clients a truly modern media advantage,” says Nadal. “Today, we are in a position to harness that expertise across offerings and provide additional firepower to our portfolio to play a leading role in the media space.”
“In establishing and growing TargetCast, we have been committed to building a media agency that serves as a powerful, creative and nimble media partner for our clients,” says Farella (pictured). “MDC Partners is an ideal strategic fit for our business, our people, our approach and our vision, and my colleagues and I are looking forward to working alongside our new partners in the network. We see tremendous opportunity in the collection of independent media offerings within MDC Partners to create a new kind of communications solution for clients.”
MDC has grown by acquiring shares in a gaggle of creative shops including Crispin Porter+Bogusky, 72andSunny and, most recently, Anomaly. At various times its finances have looked rickety as its helter-skelter acquisition programme has outrun its revenue. But, as a conventional media agency, TargetCast should improve its day-to-day cash flow no end as media agencies bank their clients’ money and pay media owners some time afterwards unlike creative agencies who have to wait for their fees.
Maxcomm is in a minnow in comparison to industry giants like WPP’s GroupM and Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi media groupings but these days there are quite enough small to medium-sized clients around the world grouping their media spend into one or more global media agencies.
The obvious next step for Nadal and MDC is to persuade his bankers to let him go shopping for media agencies in the UK, continental Europe and the Far East.