Along with other industry pundits, we agree with the prediction for an upswing in M&A activity in 2012.

This is mainly because buyers are out in force, in part because their organic growth in recent years hasn’t satisfied shareholder expectations. But what type of agency does one buy to get in on the latest and hopefully the lasting trends in our industry?

Interestingly, the classification of agencies, as well as, figuring out an appropriate EBITDA multiple for acquisition targets has become more complicated as digital expertise has more or less been commoditized across most marcom disciplines.

Consequently, the challenge of sorting out the best of the digitally integrated acquisition targets will fuel a stepped up determination among buyer’s to identify sellers with authenticity of practice excellence, not to mention unambiguous financials to match.

Keith McCracken