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Dentsu is folding its mobile ad agency Fetch into performance-marketing shop iProspect

Dentsu is folding its mobile ad agency Fetch into performance-marketing shop iProspect

Dentsu Aegis Network's mobile advertising agency Fetch is being folded into digital agency iProspect.

Fetch primarily runs ad campaigns for marketers that are looking to drive app downloads and acquire customers. It was acquired by Dentsu for about $48 million in 2014.

Starting October 1, Fetch's roughly 70 employees in the U.S. will join Dentsu's performance marketing shop iProspect, the agency confirmed to Business Insider. In June, Dentsu merged Fetch's UK office as well as agencies 360i and ICUC into Dentsu X.

The consolidation of smaller agencies into larger ones is part of Dentsu's broader goal of making it easier for clients to work with the agency network.

Read more: Advertising agencies are under threat on all sides, and now a new study shows trust in the business is lower than ever

The Fetch consolidation means iProspect can add mobile campaigns to existing contracts with clients and Fetch's clients can access iProspect's search and paid search capabilities.

"We've been very deliberate about how we've chosen to do those things," said Jeremy Cornfeldt, US CEO of iProspect. "Fetch has a focus on mobile but at the core, they're a performance-marketing agency, which is very similar to iProspect."

Cornfeldt said Fetch US' managing director Gosha Khuchua started reporting to him in January. Going forward, Khuchua will be SVP of iProspect and report to Mike Gullaksen, iProspect US' president.

The agencies have been coming closer together since January. Fetch's California offices share office space with Dentsu's MKTG, Carat and iProspect. A smaller New York team sits alongside iProspect, he said.

As marketers increase their mobile ad spending, some have questioned the necessity of a mobile agency. Cornfeldt disagreed, saying clients ask for mobile-specific services.

"We want mobile to be ubiquitous across everything that we do but there is still a niche skillset that is required to execute brilliantly," he said. "Clients do ask about that, and they understand that there's a nuance to it that you don't see in other channels."

Fetch got into hot water with Uber

Fetch made the news when it was sued by former client, Uber. There is no known connection between Fetch's folding and the legal matter.

In 2017, Uber sued Fetch for at least $40 million, alleging that the agency committed breach of contract, fraud, and negligence. The lawsuit alleged that the agency ran a number of ad campaigns that resulted in bogus app downloads and that the ride-sharing app was only supposed to pay for ads that directly led to downloads and sign-ups.

Uber voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit and then refiled suit in June, naming 100 companies that were responsible for "tens of millions of dollars."

Uber did not immediately respond to a press inquiry.

Cornfeldt said Uber's lawsuit has not impacted current clients and that he supported the agency's work.

"It's unfortunate that we're in this situation, but we stand by what we did," he said.