W2O Group acquires Sentient Interactive

The deal is the agency network's third since May.

W2O Group CEO Jim Weiss
W2O Group CEO Jim Weiss

MORRISTOWN, NJ: W2O Group has acquired Sentient Interactive, an agency based in Morristown, New Jersey, that specializes in analytics and media, it said on Thursday.

The acquisition of Sentient marks W2O Group's third deal since private-equity firm Mountaingate Capital made an investment in the agency in May. W2O has since acquired Pure Communications in September and Marketeching Solutions in November. Pure employed 30 people; Marketeching Solutions had a staff of 20 and specialized in social listening.

Jim Weiss, founder and CEO of W2O Group, said the acquisition of Sentient will accelerate the company's digital capabilities. Seventy percent of Sentient's business is in healthcare.

"Our thinking was that we are particularly strong on the social and earned digital media side," he said, "but we also need to fill the gap in paid and owned media from idea to execution, and Sentient has a proprietary measurement platform."

Weiss said there are no planned layoffs as a result of the acquisition. The agency has worked with Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, and Shionogi, according to its website. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Adam Cossman, president and cofounder of Sentient, will serve as W2O Group's chief digital officer. Cossman's primary focus will be integrating Sentient's strategy and assets into W2O Group. Prior to Cossman taking on the role of chief digital officer, W2O combined its lead digital position from its user experience and creative teams. Cossman's appointment, Weiss said, "formalizes and heightens that role."

Sentient, which employs 55 people, reported revenue of $8.4 million in 2015, a 29% increase compared with 2014. W2O Group brought in $88 million in 2015, up from $75 million in 2014, and had a staff of 427 people as of July.

Sentient had two offices, one in Morristown, New Jersey, and one in New York. The company's New York office will close and those employees will move into W2O's New York office.

This story first appeared on mmm-online.com.

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