Dentsu Aegis Network of London, England, has acquired Norwalk, Conn.-based Media Storm, a large independent data-driven audience planning and targeting agency, from founders Craig Woerz and Tim Williams, as well as private equity firm TZP Group; the new entity will provide Merkle, a Columbia-based, technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, with expanded capabilities across key verticals.

Media Storm has roots in the media and entertainment industries helping networks, cable, apps and theatrical companies grow ratings, subscriptions, box office and brand awareness success throughout its 18-year history. Media Storm also has a track record in the retail and travel/tourism sectors.

The deal allows Merkle to further enhance its multi-channel performance media capabilities, bringing new opportunities for growth to clients. Media Storm’s track record in both digital and traditional channels within the media, entertainment and retail sectors will strengthen Merkle’s media solutions in several key areas, including the rapidly growing tune-in and over-the-top (OTT) media services.

Media Storm’s unique approach to using audience decision science to drive planning and optimization is a strong complement to Merkle’s people-based marketing approach.

Additionally, the combination of Media Storm’s specialized hyper-local, multi-channel retail approach and Merkle’s digital performance media and Customer Relationship Management capabilities creates a differentiated market solution that will offer new opportunities for Merkle’s valued retail clients.

All of Media Storm’s 167 employees will make the transition to Merkle and Woerz will remain Media Storm’s managing partner, reporting directly to Patrick Hounsell, executive vice president, media services, at Merkle. This transaction marks Merkle’s third acquisition for 2020.