US digital agency Rosetta was one of the largest remaining independents in that sector until it was snapped up in 2011 by Publicis Groupe for $575m. Traditionally, it had particular strengths in search marketing, site design and customer relationship management. Market researcher Forrester ranked Rosetta as the best of three "strong performers" in US search marketing in 2011, and as the second strongest of 12 digital customer engagement agencies in 2012. By the time of its acquisition it had nine offices across the US, including Level Studios, a dedicated unit serving client Apple. The business was founded in 1998 by former Johnson & Johnson marketer Chris Kuenne. Rosetta's first clients were in healthcare - Kuenne had previously led marketing for J&J's Band-aid and Tylenol brands - but it quickly branched out into other fields in the 2000s with assignments from AT&T, Capital One, Chase and Microsoft. By the time of its acquisition by Publicis, revenues were over $250m annually. Kuenne continued to lead the agency for its first three years under Publicis ownership before leaving in 2014 to launch his own investment company, Rosemark Capital. Later that year, Rosetta was transferred into an expanded Razorfish Global division, though it continued initially to operate under its own name. AdAge estimated revenues of $293m for 2014. However, Rosetta's healthcare clients were absorbed in 2015 into Razorfish Health, and the subsequent merger of Razorfish and Sapient prompted further restructuring. The main Rosetta outpost in Hamilton, New Jersey continued to operate under its own name for a while, mainly as a dedicated agency to serve cornerstone client Samsung. However, the departure of CEO Tammy Soares in early 2017 to Accenture prompted the subsequent absorption of the business into what had by then become SapientRazorfish. The Rosetta name was dropped.
Capsule checked 4th December 2020
Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Mar 2015: Barely pausing for breath following completion of its Sapient acquisition, Publicis Groupe announced the purchase of digital supply chain specialist Expicient. Based in the US with offices in the UK and India, the new bolt-on develops online inventory and order management systems, mainly for retail clients. It is being aligned with the group's Rosetta network, under the overall umbrella of Publicis.Sapient.
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Sep 2014: Publicis Groupe consolidated parts of its digital portfolio, merging standalone agency Rosetta and newly acquired Nurun into an expanded Razorfish Global group led by former Rosetta leader Tom Adamski.
Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Jan 2014: Chris Kuenne, founder of US digital agency Rosetta, is leaving the business. He has continued to lead the agency for the past three years, most recently as chairman, having sold it in 2011 to Publicis for a whopping $575m. He used the proceeds from that deal to establish his own private equity incubator Rosemark Capital last year.
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