Seven Letter acquires digital ad shop Tessio Labs

The five-person shop will become Seven Letter's digital arm.

WASHINGTON: Seven Letter has acquired digital advertising firm Tessio Labs.

The Washington, DC, based firm announced the deal Thursday, and will be using the acquisition to launch a new digital practice called Seven Letter Labs. 

Seven Letter had been working with Tessio for approximately two years, said Seven Letter founding partner Erik Smith. The firms began talking about the deal in July, he said, and began working together as one entity last month.

"We started operated in this new merged entity on October 1," said Smith, adding that the contract is being signed this week.

With the deal, the Tessio brand will be retired. The five employees of Tessio, including cofounders John Corrigan and Michael Treon, will all become Seven Letter employees. Corrigan said nobody will lose their position as a result of the acquisition and he and Treon will take the roles of senior digital strategists at Seven Letter Labs.

Prior to the acquisition, Tessio’s employees including Corrigan and Treon worked remotely. Corrigan and Treon will now work out of Seven Letter Labs’ official headquarters, located in the Seven Letter Washington office.

Smith said buying Tessio, rather than simply hiring more digital employees, adds significant depth to the digital offering.

"They know the digital ad industry in a really comprehensive and deep-rooted way," Smith said of Treon and Corrigan. "They’re not just about fulfilling orders but can help our clients figure out what tools are necessary, and how to use tools they haven’t used before, to meet their needs. They bring to bear much more sophisticated bespoke digital solutions that rely on their experience in the publishing side of digital advertising."

Seven Letter was itself created by an acquisition when Blue Engine Message & Media acquired JDA Frontline last year. The combined firm was called Blue Engine + JDA until it rebranded as Seven Letter in June.

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