Merchant moves on as P3 expands

By AdNews | 4 November 2005

MELBOURNE: After four years helping advertisers spend money more wisely, industry pioneer Dennis Merchant is again moving on.

Agency consultant P3 has acquired Merchant’s company, Media Benchmarks, from Merchant for an undisclosed sum.

Merchant retired from media buying in 1999 and set up Media Benchmarks in 2001 with former Merchant & Partners (now Initiative Media) general manager Mark Chesterfield as well as former Procter & Gamble communications head Paul Nix, DM specialist Mel Gottlieb, agency finance expert John Rudd and researcher Dr Terry Bead.

Merchant will no longer work on the business but Chesterfield will consult, said P3 founding partner Darren Woolley.

P3's media consultancy, P3 Media, was a joint venture between P3 and Media Benchmarks and had operated since mid-2003. Woolley said the acquisition would give P3 valuable intellectual property, methodology and processes developed by Merchant in the past few years.

“The opportunity of bringing Media Benchmarks more completely into the business of P3 means that we have further strengthened our market leading position in helping organisations gain maximum value through their marketing expenditure,” Woolley said.

Merchant said it is essential that advertisers have access to advice that is “independent, unbiased and communications-channel neutral”.
“Our services and those of P3 fit nicely together to provide experience-based benchmarking and analysis systems that can help minimise wastage, allow access to greater market potential, optimise budget allocations, explore all media options and improve ROI,” he said.

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