They’re not Google, but ad agencies are a good way to invest in online media, Merrill Lynch said in a research note today. Its top picks: Seattle-based aQuantive, along with ad giants Omnicom and WPP.
“Agencies are providing a hedge for investors against media fragmentation. Organic growth is high relative to the overall sector as the agencies benefit from the increasing shift to marketing services and digital,” the report said.
Merrill analysts set a $30 price target on AQNT, saying, “We believe this is a good name to play the shift of dollars online. aQuantive is a leading independent interactive agency that is participating in the growth of online regardless of format and continues to be increasingly valued for its web development and media services as companies increase their focus online.”
AQNT was down 3 cents today, at $26.42.