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Progress Partners is a boutique investment firm based in Boston and New York City providing financial advisory services to companies in media, marketing, advertising, and software.

Amp Agency Buys Search Shop

*Progress Partners served as financial advisor to Rock Coast Media in its acquisition by Amp

BOSTON - The Amp Agency here, best known for its racy campaigns touting LifeStyles condoms, has acquired Rock Coast Media, an independent interactive and search marketing shop in Newburyport, Mass.

The deal brings Rock Coast's 10 employees into the Amp fold as part of the latter's media services group that focuses on search, public relations and related offerings. That unit will employ 25 staffers with the addition of Rock Coast's personnel.

Former Rock Coast leaders Stephen Anderson and Josh Pike become svps at Amp. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Though most smaller and mid-sized shops are playing it safe in the uncertain economy, Amp has been fairly aggressive, making two acquisitions in as many years. The agency's deal with Rock Coast follows its 2008 absorption of creatively focused Fulgent Media Group.

Gary Colen, CEO of Amp, said the need to provide comprehensive strategic services under one roof is driving the need for expansion. Adding Rock Coast improves Amp's search offering and allows the shop to help clients "maximize their online investment and extend the impact of campaigns," he said.

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