SAN DIEGO—Lewis PR has acquired Piston, a 50-person digital agency based in San Diego.
The deal takes Lewis' global revenues to more than $72m, with US revenues now exceeding $37m. Piston had revenues of $8.4m in 2014.
Founded by CEO Michael Chaney and president John Hartman in 2008, Piston specializes in digital marketing including SEO, SEM and display advertising, media planning and buying, analytics and creative design services.
Hartman will continue to run Piston as a division with Chaney taking a non-executive role. The firm will operate under the Lewis Pulse digital marketing arm, alongside prior web design acquisition, Purestone in the UK. Hartman will report into SVP of Lewis Pulse, Stephen Corsi,
Piston's clients include AAA, AARP, BareMinerals, Cars.com, Intuit, Inspirato, Mophie, Shiseido, SkullCandy, Sunglass Hut, TVG and Yakult.
"Our clients are looking for integrated communications campaigns," said Corsi. "We’re seeing a huge uptick in demand for paid media programs – search engine marketing, online advertising, mobile programs. Piston combines the three things you need to get that right – strong creative, strategic media buying at scale with deep analytics."
Lewis PR CEO Chris Lewis noted that the "oligarch firms have advertising and PR agencies at arms length, even competing for revenue."
"We’re offering a more agile and integrated approach,” said Lewis. "This deal with Piston fits our strategy to have the scale in the US to handle any client campaign, and to broaden our service proposition especially in digital."
Prior Lewis acquisitions include Leads United, PageOne PR, DMG, Purestone and EBA. The firm was advised by McCracken Advisory Partners.
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