MDC's media agency network has acquired Austin, Texas-based digital buying shop Unique Influence.
"They are experts in paid social media, which is pretty much the fastest-growing part of the media landscape at the moment," said Martin Cass, CEO of MDC Media Partners and Assembly. The shop's relationship with Nanigans, a preferred Facebook vendor, was also attractive, enabling it to boost MDC's spending with Facebook. "It's a technical area and gives us overnight a strong presence in mobile and social mobile," said Mr. Cass.
Unique, which was founded in 2011 by Ryan Pitylak and Chantal Pittman, touts around 30 staffers who specialize in social, mobile and search marketing. The agency will now be part of MDC Media Partners, the holding company's umbrella group that houses main media shop Assembly, as well as specialist shops and technology units, including EnPlay, LocalBizNow, The Media Kitchen, Trade X and Varick Media Management.
Unique and MDC have been in talks for close to 10 months.
"I wanted to really make sure our capability would add a lot of value to the group with which we partnered," said Unique CEO Ryan Pitylak. "Investing in our talent, training and deepening in our core capabilities – we now have the ability to do that easily. We're [now] able to scale access to a vetted client base."
For MDC and Mr. Cass, Unique also represents the first acquisition since the group said it would scale its media operation following the creation of Assembly. MDC acquired RJ Palmer in January 2012 and TargetCast only three months later. In March 2014 the holding company merged the shops to create a new media agency called Assembly, led by Mr. Cass, a former Carat vet.