Aegis Scoops Up Ad Server Bluestreak

NEW YORK Aegis Group continued its series of digital acquisitions with the purchase of small ad server Bluestreak.

The buy brings Aegis its own ad-serving technology, which will allow its agencies to serve, manage and analyze the performance of display advertising. Aegis plans to integrate the ad-serving capability into its digital network Isobar, which includes Carat Fusion, to track and manage ads across both search and display media.

Aegis paid $12.5 million for Bluestreak.

The purchase is the latest of a series of ad-server acquisitions, following Google’s $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick and Microsoft’s $6 billion deal for aQuantive. Agency groups have not stood on the sidelines: WPP Group paid $64 million to purchase 24/7 Real Media, which has a publisher ad server.

Several shops have expressed unease at the leading ad servers, run by Google and Microsoft, giving them valuable information about campaign performance. Ad serving has risen in importance as more advertisers and media sellers look to collect data to focus Internet ads based on prior behavior and responses.

“Ad serving is in the spotlight right now,” Aegis CEO Robert Lerwill said in a statement. “We believe the combination of media and ad serving is the most interesting of all. While we will continue to work with other industry ad servers, owning our own technology in-house will give us a step change in product development across both search and display.”

Aegis has made several digital acquisitions to build out Isobar in emerging areas. Earlier this month, it finalized a deal to buy mobile marketing agency Marvellous Mobile. It also acquired word-of-mouth shop Ammo Marketing in February 2006, Web design firm Molecular in April 2005 and search firm iProspect in December 2004.

Based in Providence, R.I., Bluestreak also has offices in the U.K., France and Germany.