Omnicom acquires Kern, will operate under Rapp

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The Diversified Agency Services (DAS) division of Omnicom Group Inc. has acquired The Kern Organization in a move to strengthen its customer ac­quisition offering. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.

The Kern Organization will remain an independent brand but will operate under DAS' Rapp Collins Worldwide. Founder Russell Kern will remain the company's president.

“Rapp Collins has a strong customer retention program and Kern has a great customer acquisition service, [and] customers have been asking for that combination of both,” said Thomas Harrison, chairman/CEO of DAS.

AdMedia Partners worked as financial advisors to Russell Kern on the deal. Ad­Media managing director Abbott Jones said that there is an “intense interest” in acquiring DM firms because they “repre­sent accountability” and can show ROI.

“Russell has been approached by a variety of firms over the years, but Om­nicom really seemed to offer a benefit to the company,” Jones said.

The Kern Organization, whose busi­ness is about 70% b-to-c and 30% b-to-b, will report to Rapp Collins' global CEO Bob Horvath.

Rapp Collins will have access to Kern's customer development and demand generation strategies for the US, while Kern will be able to tap into Rapp Col­lins' data and analytics resources.

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