I got an email today from Patrick Gavin announcing the official acquisition of Text-Link-Ads.com by a company called MediaWhiz. Until now I hadn’t actually seen much of MediaWhiz in the search space, but it appears that’s because they’ve been spending quite a bit of time and LakeCapital‘s money building an affiliate network, a lead gen network and also an email marketing platform. Pretty diverse, and TLA looks like a good fit.
Personally, one of my favorite aspects of TLA has always been their proximity to search and the degree of familiarity & friendliness that they’ve always retained. I know that this attitude and culture has been a big reason why they’ve done so well. Even though I know they’d been on the block for sale for a while now, I just hope that becoming part of a larger agency doesn’t compromise this meaningful culture that they’ve created so delightfully (even though Matt Cutts blows ‘em up from time to time).
What does this mean for TLA in the future?
It probably means that they will start using a sales force to solicit sites and build their inventory. That’s bad news for the rest of the text link vendors, for sure. TLA will certainly find some partners in other LakeCapital investments, most suitably probably Respond2 for more direct response marketing & Haggin Marketing for whatever they mean by “juice”. Alternatively, it could just mean that the network gets under-appreciated and the growth becomes a bit more stagnant, mired in the corporate quagmire of processes and meetings about when to have the next meeting. Here’s the official press release.
One last part is that it looks like RBC Capital Markets was the primary financial M&A strategist for TLA. They do very good work–I hope Patrick & his team did very well in the deal–they deserve it.