Why Omnicom Bought Another D.C. Agency

Washington Firm DDC Specializes in Constituent Relationship Management

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Omnicom's DAS division snapped up a public-affairs agency specializing in digital and social media earlier this week. In purchasing Washington-based DDC, the holding group's Diversified Agency Services division is continuing a longtime consolidation of small shops serving the political and advocacy markets.

For DAS, the move means one thing in particular: better CRM services for public-affairs clients. In political parlance, the "C" in CRM refers to constituents rather than customers. DAS aims to repurpose DDC's services for clients outside the advocacy world for things such as corporate investor relations.

"CRM in the public-affairs space is an attractive area for growth around the world, in business and government capitals alike," stated DAS CEO Dale Adams in an email interview with Ad Age. "We see the huge potential in taking their proven model to other markets where Omnicom does business, including activist shareholder campaigns, labor relations, government and crisis communications."

The 18-year-old digital shop offers clients access to searchable data on grassroots supporters and advocacy stakeholders at a legislative-district level. The segmented data shows their contributions, support activities such as emails sent, and information on their relationships with elected officials.

Mr. Adams noted he sees the acquisition as complementary to other DAS offerings, indicating that the buy would help it expand constituent-relationship-management services globally.

"With this acquisition, and in combination with other related Omnicom firms, we've ensured that our clients have access to a comprehensive CRM offering in the public affairs industry that is truly unequaled in scope and expertise in the leading capitals of the world -- from Beijing to Berlin to Brasilia," he said, noting DDC has "great growth potential."

DDC has 145 employees and boasts more than 300 clients. The companies did not reveal the terms of the deal.

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