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Acosta Group to Acquire Crossmark, Product Connections

This latest investment comes a year after Acosta introduced its unified brand collective, combining its omnichannel retail, marketing and foodservice agencies.

Jacksonville, Florida-based marketing agency Acosta Group is acquiring Crossmark, including its sales agency and retail solutions businesses, and marketing services business Product Connections, from WIS International. 

Acosta Group intends to maintain the Crossmark and Product Connections brands within its agency portfolio. Dallas, Texas-based WIS International will retain its inventory verification services business. 

This deal comes just over one year after Acosta became Acosta Group, its unified brand collective that combines its omnichannel retail, marketing and foodservice agencies to provide clients better access to its full suite of solutions. It also builds on the company’s ongoing transformation, investments in the sales and marketing space and expansion of agency capabilities and services.

A key driver for this merger was the “complementary” nature of Acosta Group, Crossmark and Product Connections’ offerings as well as their deep roots serving brands across verticals, categories and channels, per the statement.

Highlights of the merger include: 

  • Expanded set of solutions. Acosta Group clients now have access to Product Connections' in-store sampling and demonstration expertise, and Crossmark and Product Connections brand clients can tap into Acosta’ digital commerce solutions designed to boost sales and impressions on Amazon, websites and retail media.
  • Stronger retail service delivery and execution. New Acosta Group clients can leverage its field management technology, which was designed to manage robust merchandising organizations. 
  • An elevated approach to serving brands of different sizes. Acosta Group will continue investing in services and solutions for emerging and medium-sized brands, expanding access to greater data, analytics, insights, digital commerce capabilities and innovation.
  • Increased investments into the workforce. The combined company wants to enhance associates' skills and facilitate cross-agency mobility. 

"Today's announcement reflects our commitment to continued investment in our people, technology, client and customer relationships, and business overall, creating enhanced value for all of our stakeholders,” Brian Wynne, CEO of Acosta Group, said in a joint statement with WIS. "Our strong balance sheet enables us to make these strategic investments."  

"[This deal] will strengthen our ability to provide valuable services for our customers in an industry facing persistent macroeconomic challenges, changing consumer behaviors and further CPG and retailer consolidation,” he added. 

Once the transaction closes, Acosta Group will continue to be led by Wynne as CEO. Jim Rose will remain as WIS International's CEO, leading the inventory verification services business. 

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