Axios Pro: Media Deals

July 06, 2023

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1 big thing: Communications consolidation

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

The Avenue Z Network, a Miami-based strategic communications and digital media company founded by digital marketing veteran Jeffrey Herzog, has acquired PR agency Bevel.

Why it matters: Only a month into its public launch, this is Avenue Z's second acquisition and its eyes are still on digital marketing, branding, analytics and technology firms, Kerry writes.

Catch up quick: Founded in March 2017, Bevel has a deep roster of fintech clients including Acorns, Better.com and Dave.

  • Additional clients include investment firms BlockTower Capital, Clocktower Technology Ventures, Greycroft and Aaron Rodgers' RX3, along with media companies like Sundance.
  • Bevel employs about 45 people. All are joining Avenue Z, which will now have more than 100 employees. Jessica Schaefer will join the board and remain CEO of Bevel.
  • Other terms of the deal were not disclosed. Avenue Z, which is funded by Herzog and Baleon Capital, is valued at about $75 million following the Bevel acquisition, according to a source familiar.

Details: The acquisition by Avenue Z will help Bevel expand globally and provide more services to its clients, Schaefer tells Axios.

  • "We're seeing increased demand for the one-stop shop, holistic approach to digital communications, including optimized video and audio content, and influencer relations and social media support," Schaefer wrote in an email to Axios. "By combining traditional public relations strategies with digital tools, we will offer a more comprehensive solution."

Of note: Herzog founded the digital marketing agency iCrossing in 1998 and made several acquisitions including NewGate Internet, Proxicom, Spannerworks and 3GNet. Hearst acquired it in 2010. He then founded ZOG Digital, later acquired by Investis.

💭 Thought bubble via Axios Communicators' Eleanor Hawkins: This deal is the most recent example of the blurring between strategic communications and digital marketing.

  • Having a savvy, digital-first communications team will become even more important as brands attempt to dodge cultural landmines while also grabbing the attention of increasingly uninterested and skeptical audiences.

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