Marketing consultancy firm Ebiquity has purchased Digital Decisions in a bid to further its digital media monitoring capabilities as it aims to better help brands evaluate their online media spend.
The deal between the Europe-based pair will begin with an initial consideration of 700,000 euros ($783,000), with the final terms involving a mix of cash and Ebiquity stock, dependent on the financial performance of Digital Decisions through 2022.
Ebiquity helps brands improve the ROI of their media buys, and is arguably most famous for its participation in the 2016 ANA Transparency report, and its purchase of Digital Decisions is meant to shore up the digital capabilities of its media arm.
Meanwhile, Digital Decisions lets brands optimize their online buys with a particular focus on the increasingly important areas of online ad transparency, especially brand safety, fraud detection and viewability.
Last year it paired with the World Federation of Advertisers to introduce its Digital Media Benchmark report, which aggregates the reporting of several verification companies—Adloox, DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science, Meetrics and Moat—to help advertisers better weigh their online investments.
Digital Decisions, which will continue to operate as a standalone brand, boasts clients including Heineken and PepsiCo. In a statement, Josep Hernandez, senior director of media connections and planning at PepsiCo, described the pairing as an ideal way of “future-proofing ad spend efficiency.”
Meanwhile, Alan Newman, Ebquity’s interim CEO, described the addition of Digital Decisions as “complementary” to its existing services and one that will “help brands rebuild trust in their digital ecosystems.”
Digital Decisions CEO Ruben Schreurs further described Ebiquity as “a natural fit and the perfect launch pad to take Digital Decisions into the next era of growth.”
EMarketer forecasts total U.S. digital ad spend to surpass $150 billion this year—it overtook offline spend in 2019—but some of the industry’s largest spenders are calling its value into question. Technologies like blockchain that promised to clean up the sometimes murky world of online advertising have thus far failed to deliver on early expectations, with investment in such technologies falling short of the initial hype cycle.
Meanwhile CPG manufacturers, in particular, have been vocal about their concerns over digital media’s ROI, with Unilever last year rolling out its Trusted Publishers network to minimize its exposure to ad fraud.