Survey shows healthy M&A appetite for marketing services, Web marketing firms

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New York—More than half of advertising and marketing executives surveyed expect a strong year for M&A in both database marketing/CRM and so-called “experiential marketing,” according to a report released on Monday by media investment banking firm AdMedia Partners.

AdMedia said more than 90% of respondents expect to enter or expand in at least one area of marketing this year. Internet marketing, marketing/strategic consulting and experiential marketing are viewed as among the most popular areas for expansion.

The report is based on an online survey distributed in November and December to more than 3,200 U.S. executives who work in a variety of advertising and marketing service sectors.

According to the report, 54% of respondents who identified themselves as prospective buyers expect to complete an acquisition this year, up from 51% who thought they would buy in 2005. In a more dramatic shift, 42% of those who identified themselves as prospective sellers expect to sell all or part of their businesses in 2006 compared with 25% who thought they would do so last year.

—Matthew Schwartz

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