Brand Networks Buys Social Marketer Shift for $50M, Adds New Product

Social-media marketing and advertising firm Brand Networks has acquired another marketing company, Shift, which specializes in advertising across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, for $50 million in cash and stock, the companies announced today.

With the deal, Boston-based Brand Networks says it is announcing a new product called RelevanceRank, which uses an algorithm to help marketers and advertisers predict on which social network they should promote paid and organic content. Brand Networks is bringing on Los Angeles-based Shift’s co-founder and CEO, James Borow, as the chief product officer.

The combined companies said they will handle about $500 million in social advertising spending for companies and ad agencies including Interpublic Group, WPP, American Express, AT&T, Discover, Yahoo, and Unilever.

Brand Networks has been turning heads in recent years, particularly after Facebook went public in 2012. It raised a $68 million growth investment from private equity firm AEA Investors in 2013.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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