Merkle Buys Chicago’s New Control, Bringing Agency Group Headcount To 450

merkle-new-controlMerkle keeps piling on agency services. The CRM and database marketing company has acquired Chicago-based New Control, a “digital and direct” agency with a focus on financial industry clients including Chase, Fifth Third Bank, PNC Bank and Visa.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Merkle EVP and digital agency lead Craig Dempster told AdExchanger the deal creates a Chicago footprint for the agency, with analysts and messaging experts focused on the credit vertical. “In a lot of our media relationships today we do the creative work,” Dempster said. “Here, we’ve acquired a team with a strong methodology in driving direct response performance with creative.”

Merkle and New Control both have strength in financial services, but Merkle is focused on retail banking and New Control does credit card marketing. Dempster said, “this expands our performance-based creative communications. Their expertise in addressable media and creating integrated marketing communications in addressable is attractive to us.”

For the first year, New Control will function as a wholly owned subsidiary under the moniker “New Control, a Merkle Company.” Its president, Dave Baun, will stay on in that role.

Merkle’s previous acquisitions in the marketing space include Brilig (data), 5th Finger (mobile), Social Amp (social), IMPAQT (search) and IMPAQT Trading (media). New Control’s 85 employees will bring the headcount in the company’s agency services group to about 450, or about a fifth of the employees across all four of its divisions (the other three are management consulting, technology and analytics).

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