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iProspect was repositioned in 2021 as a full-service media agency within what is now Dentsu International, following its absorption of the old Vizeum network. Adage estimated global revenues of $803m in 2020 (including Vizeum). IProspect was originally the group's so-called "digital performance" arm, partnering all-round digital network Isobar. Although it offered a broad range of services, it specialised in paid and unpaid search, social media and affiliate marketing, and also increasingly content creation and development. Leading contract publisher John Brown Media, acquired by Dentsu Aegis in 2015, was aligned with the UK arm of iProspect, and the network has continued to expand its offering through additional purchases. In 2017, it added US digital marketer Leapfrog Online; several other deals have followed around the globe. Ruth Stubbs was appointed as global president in 2016, but departed the agency towards the end of 2019 to head up Wavemaker in Europe. Her successor was eventually named as Amanda Morrissey. At the beginning of 2021, Dentsu confirmed that the entire global network of its second-string media brand Vizeum would be absorbed into iProspect. By the end of 2020, iProspect claimed a worldwide presence of more than 93 offices in 56 countries, including 53 outposts across the EMEA region and 13 in North America. The merger with Vizeum increased that footprint to 126 offices in 93 markets. iProspect was actually founded in Boston in 1996 by Fredrick Marckini, at the time the first agency to specialise in search marketing. (It even registered a trademark for itself as "the original search engine marketing firm"). The business was acquired by Aegis in 2004 for $50m, becoming the main media partner in the US for the Isobar creative network. A global rollout began in 2010; the UK office was formed from the rebranding of local digital media unit Diffiniti.

Capsule checked 2rd December 2021

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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Marketer Moves 6th October 2021: New CEO Americas at iProspect. See Marketer Moves (members only).

Adbrands Daily Update 13th Jan 2021: As was already anticipated, Dentsu will press ahead with the elimination of the global Vizeum media network, which is to be folded into digital specialist iProspect. The Australian office of Vizeum had already been absorbed by sibling iProspect last year, and rumours emerged of a similar move in the UK soon afterwards. Now Dentsu confirms that the entire Vizeum network will be eliminated, with accounts and staff transferring to iProspect under the leadership of the latter's president Amanda Morrissey. Completion is expected to take place by the end of Q1.

Adbrands Daily Update 7th Oct 2020: Dentsu appears to be moving towards the elimination of secondary media brand Vizeum in favour of an expanded presence for digital specialist iProspect. The group is reported to be in advanced negotiations to merge local outposts of those two networks in the UK under the iProspect banner. That replicates a move already completed in Australia. In the US, Vizeum was absorbed into sibling 360i in 2016. In the UK market, Vizeum currently has only around 80 staff, compared to more than 600 for iProspect.

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