DDS and Mediabank merge to create single agency system

Agency booking and measurement services Donovan Data Systems (DDS) and its main rival MediaBank, are to combine to form MediaOcean in a $1.5bn (£966m) merger to create a "single, neutral and universal operating system (OS) for advertising technology."

MediaOcean: new entity formed from the merger of DDS and MediaBank
MediaOcean: new entity formed from the merger of DDS and MediaBank

The new company will be led by Michael Donovan, founder and chairman of Donovan Data Systems, as MediaOcean executive chairman, and Bill Wise, MediaBank chief executive, as the new company’s CEO.

Wise said: "Technology solutions must address the global advertising industry, enabling the coordination of technology across businesses, applications and data, media channels and geographic regions.

"Our goal is to give agencies the tools and control they need to realize their full value in a changing landscape, and to do so with complete transparency and neutrality."

Donovan said: "The potential of the merger is enormous. It will enable the entire industry and inspire every advertising professional and system developer. It will empower agencies to embrace continuous change and keep their lead in a fast changing digital world — no matter what automation, digital media and new players in the advertising space may throw at them.

"After more than four decades in the media technology business, I can’t think of a more exciting next step."

The merger is pending US government regulatory approval. Luma Partners advised DDS on the deal.

Both companies have recently been challenged by a rash of new ad-measurement products invading their market from online services including Google. DDS and MediaBank said that the merger could create synergies of as much as $500m.

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