Global media audit firm Media Path is acquiring the recently founded consultancy Maximise Media Management, bringing aboard its experienced leadership team which used to run much of Accenture's media management business.
George Patten, Maximise's CEO, former chief of Accenture Media Management and former COO of Dentsu Aegis Network APAC, will now become global CEO of Media Path Network. Existing CEO and founder of Media Path, Susanne Elias, is assuming the role of executive chairman.
"I am delighted to secure this deal and have George and his team on board under the Media Path banner," Elias said in a draft release obtained by Campaign Asia-Pacific. "We could see the traction already taking place in the market and felt striking early was the best strategy to continue the growth and trajectory of the Media Path business, which continues to grow at high double-digits year after year. Having someone of George’s seniority lead our global expansion and remain headquartered in Asia will continue to drive a clear point of difference for us in the sector."
Stockholm-based Media Path was founded in 2008 and provides media auditing, consulting, transformation and pitch management. The firm works with more than 100 clients across 115 countries worldwide, but is based heavily in Europe. Adding Patten's leadership out of Singapore will help ramp up its existing APAC business with offices in China and India.
Just last month, Media Path announced an expansion of its network and global compliance offering with new offices in Australia and the US. Those moves saw Media Path hire a number of key staff from rival Ebiquity-owned FirmDecisions, including its co-founder and global CEO Stephen Broderick.
By bringing Patten and the Maximise team on board, and with other hires from Ebiquity not yet announced, it is clear Media Path is gunning hard at its leading rival globally as the audit market is disrupted.
"It's a clear competitive attack to try and win new clients from the competition given that we have the ability to access data faster than anyone in the market," Patten explained to Campaign, with plans to move clients West to East and East to West in a bid to become the largest global media consultancy.
In response, Ebiquity APAC managing director Leela Nair told Campaign it too is staffing up and will maintain a focus on transparency.
“We welcome a continuing focus on advertising industry transparency and accountability. Ebiquity have recently undertaken further expansion with their digital leadership team and more announcements are imminent” Nair said. She added its financial compliance arm, Firm Decisions, will be appointing a number of senior agency finance executives, to augment their existing global footprint.
Disruption in the media auditing business
As competition heats up in the media audit sector, so do the calls for a change in practices.
Patten's focus for Maximise Media Management, the new consultancy he started in October, was to provide ongoing forward-looking, business-outcome-focused feedback to clients rather than periodic check-ins of past performance. What attracted Patten most to Media Path, he said, was its use of a global media platform technology called GMP365 which enables them to do just that.
"It was clear our ideology [at Maximise] was shared with MediaPath, who has integrated their tools and processes with the advertiser-centric GMP365 platform and uses it as a unique technology backbone that ensures data quality and process governance globally, and enables data collation and reporting to come to life–at speed."
In a joint press release statement, Elias and Patten maintained they were committed to changing the way media management has traditionally been done:
"Media Path’s DNA has always been to constructively disrupt the traditional model of media auditing and we are committed to building on this to create a consultancy with a level of service which is relevant to today’s media landscape. Advertisers are keen for change, and we are committed to delivering this change."
Editor's Note: This story was edited from its original version to clarify that the GMP365 platform is a separate business from Media Path.