The £4.3m sale by Medialink makes Delahaye – which will retain its brand name as Romeike’s evaluation arm – Britain’s largest provider of media evaluation services, according to Romeike UK managing director Les Kelly.
He said it strengthens Romeike’s ability to offer a full range of media services, including maintaining databases of media contacts, news distribution, monitoring and evaluation.
‘This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to being a full-service media company,’ said Kelly.
Evaluation contributes about £2m to Romeike’s annual UK turnover of about £30m, and Delahaye brings an international client list with particular strength in the US market.
However, Kelly said Delahaye’s greatest asset was a set of evaluation standards that Romeike will adopt and promote to the rest of the media evaluation industry.
‘We want to create a global standard and convince clients of the benefits of using a universal system that would allow comparison of media performance with that of competitors,’ he said.
Core to Romeike’s approach will be an evaluation standard that references the impact of a media mention against the importance of the media property in which it appeared to the client’s sector.
‘Clients are faced with an awful lot of information. The challenge is to turn it into knowledge that you can do something with,’ said Kelly.
Association of Media Evaluation Companies chairman Giselle Bodie, who is also managing director at Echo Research, said setting a standard for evaluation ‘is a subject that is regularly raised, analysed and put away because we work across such a broad range of qualitative and quantitative research projects’.
She explained that a standard ‘appropriate on an individual basis [would be] hard to replicate across all clients, all sectors and all countries’.