CEO Martin Cass exits as MDC Partners forms new network uniting media, technology & data

Michael Bassik and Brad Simms to lead collaborative group

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Jul 10, 2019 2:38 PM Updated: Jul 10, 2019 2:38 PM
Martin Cass

MDC Partners Inc. has announced the formation of a new media, technology and data network designed to bring addressability to the center of advertising strategy and creative media execution. The group aligns MDC Media Partners – including award-winning data-centric media agency Assembly – with GALE, a fast-growing global data, technology, CRM and addressable content agency. The collaborative network will be led by MDC veteran and digital media executive Michael Bassik and GALE Founder and CEO Brad Simms, as Co-Chairs. The group gives clients access to a comprehensive suite of expert media partners that can lead all media strategy, planning and buying services, along with programmatic buying and bartering, to create a more seamless range of client partnership opportunities informed by data and analytics.

At the same time, Bassik becomes CEO of Assembly and will oversee MDC Media Partners’ portfolio of media and content agencies including Allegory, Attention, EnPlay, Trade X Partners, Unique Influence, and the network’s independent media trading consultancy Varick.

“Today marks the first in a series of actions bringing together the best talent across MDC Partners into collaborative networks for the benefit of our clients, by establishing a new group built around data, technology, media and content,” said Mark Penn, Chairman and CEO at MDC Partners. “In just five years, Assembly rose from an idea to one of the most lauded media agencies in the country, in large part thanks to its ambitious approach to data and analytics. Today, we are taking the next step to enhance and complement that offering, creating a truly progressive solution for marketers as creative and content take on more digital applications and media trends toward addressability.”

Together, the network has global offices in New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, Austin, Toronto, Singapore and Bengaluru. The new network will align world-class media strategy, planning, buying, data, analytics and trading experts, with leading CRM specialists, data scientists, technologists and content creators, forming a collaborative and multi-disciplinary team of over 600 employees.

“I’m honored to join this talented team and to leverage their significant investments in media, data and technology to drive even better business outcomes for our clients,” said Bassik, who joined MDC Partners as President of Global Digital Operations in 2014, and most recently served as Founder and CEO of MDC’s specialist network Yes and Company. “There is no better time to align with GALE to create a close-knit offering that can work across all channels to act on informed and powerful insights, strengthen our legacy of innovation, and create the measurable, transparent, and quality impact that clients deserve.”

“GALE was built to help brands connect with people through data-driven insights and addressable creative,” said Simms. “Too many agencies are operating in their own bubbles, confined to siloed business models that no longer work in the clients’ best interests. This alliance will help us bring even deeper expertise to clients in service of this mission. As a fulsome offering, we form a strategic and execution team that can enhance the power and performance of brand marketing and media across digital and traditional channels.”

Launched to provide brands with innovative media solutions, and powered by a proprietary data stack built to fuel sophisticated media and investment strategies, Assembly has quickly emerged to be a named a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Full-Service Media Agencies, Q1 2019 and Ad Age’s 2018 Media Agency of the Year.

Specializing in CRM, loyalty, marketing transformation, and addressable communications, GALE is a next-generation agency focused on changing the trajectory of a brand’s performance through its proprietary set of tools including Alchemy™, a customer data platform, and Ask GALE™, a consumer insights platform.

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