Martin Sorrell's S4 Capital Acquires Decoded, Metric Theory
Sir Martin Sorrell (AP file photo)
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S4 Capital has brought into the fold integrated agency Decoded Advertising and integrated performance marketing shop Metric Theory. S4, headed by executive chairman Sir Martin Sorrell, will pair its creative digital content production company MediaMonks with Decoded Advertising. S4 will also combine its data and digital media consultancy MightyHive with Metric Theory. 

Sorrell said, “Both combinations continue our momentum, broadening our digital, strategic, creative, data and digital media capabilities in line with our objectives for 2021.” Sorrell added that Decoded founder Matt Rednor and his colleagues “share our vision of using data to develop and produce effective creative work and distribute campaigns through digital media. They have created an award-winning, highly successful agency, which will be a significant addition to the family.”

MightyHive, the centerpiece of S4’s data and digital media practice, was described by Sorrell as being simpatico with Metric Theory, a company under the aegis of CEO and co-founder Ken Baker. “Our data and digital media practice is founded on providing clients with transparency and measurable results, two values at the heart of the business Ken and his colleagues have built at Metric Theory,” stated Sorrell, enabling what he characterized as the continued building of S4’s envisioned “new age/new era model” designed to “disrupt the status quo.”

With almost 200 people in New York and Los Angeles, integrated, creative, technology and media agency Decoded services global clients such as TMobile, Intuit, Visa, WW International and SC Johnson.

Metric Theory is an integrated performance marketing agency providing services across search, social media and commerce media. Using data-driven strategies to provide highly measurable and effective results for B2C and B2B clients such as Gofundme, Zenefits, Very Great, Maisonette and Hill House Home, Metric Theory has over 130 people across San Francisco, Denver, New York and Orange County.

Decoded’s Rednor said, “Since day one it’s been our goal to explore every strategic, creative and media lever at our disposal to build better brands and deliver better performance results. In S4 Capital, we’ve found a group of like-minded collaborators that immediately expand our ability to disrupt the industry with a more modern approach to creativity.”

Wesley ter Haar, founder of MediaMonks and executive director at S4 Capital, said, “The past two years have seen us increasingly working for clients across our data, creative and digital media practices and the expertise and experience Matt and his colleagues bring us will heighten our ability to deliver a truly unified offer.”

Metric Theory’s Baker noted, “We’re excited to bring our brand of numbers-obsessed, growth-obsessed, full-funnel performance marketing to MightyHive and S4 Capital. It’s clear that their mission and values are the same as ours, and that we’ll be far better at delivering them together.”

Christopher S. Martin, MightyHive co-founder and S4 Capital executive director, said “As we look to expand our data and digital media practice in line with client demand, welcoming Ken and his colleagues to the family allows us to combine our existing capabilities with their best-in-class performance media competencies to create a broad-based digital media offering.” 

Beyond their clients and capabilities, Decoded and Metric Theory will add just under 350 professionals to S4 Capital’s current talent base of 3,400 and a projected combined gross profit of approximately $70 million in 2020, which represents 50% growth over 2019. The purchase prices for Decoded and Metric Theory were not disclosed; the transactions, though, will be paid half in cash and half by the issuance of S4 Capital ordinary shares.

The former longstanding CEO of holding company WPP, Sorrell started S4, a London-headquartered tech-led new age/new era digital advertising and marketing services company, in May 2018. The deals for Decoded and Metric Theory are in line with an ongoing growth plan spanning Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. S4 shared that it will announce further moves shortly.


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