GroupM Turns To Buddy Media For Social Ads

WPP’s GroupM has consolidated its ad-buying on Facebook and other social networks through new deal with Buddy Media. The firm has become the “preferred social ad management partner” for GroupM, which last year spent $200 million on Facebook advertising.

Under the agreement, the media-buying giant will roll out Buddy Media’s ad-buying software across all of its agencies including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, Mindshare, M80 and other business units.

WPP invested $5 million in Buddy Media as part of a broader venture funding round in 2010. At the time, WPP said it would integrate Buddy Media’s platform into its own set of ad technology tools and co-develop new custom products and social apps with the firm for agency clients.

Buddy Media earlier this month formally introduced its BuyBuddy social ad-buying technology, acquired through its acquisition of London-based startup Brighter Option. GroupM CEO Rob Norman said the pact with Buddy Media wouldn’t be exclusive, but that “consolidation will offer our clients and teams the opportunity to develop consistent high performance in a rapidly developing market.”

The value of advertising on Facebook has come under heightened scrutiny since General Motors said last week said it was pulling $10 million ad spend on the site, while maintaining a brand presence there costing $30 million.

Lazerow likened the move to a marketer deciding to stop advertising on TV in 1950. “Of course you'll advertise at some point. You have a billion people on one platform, you can reach them globally, so of course you're going to advertise at some point,” he told CNBC last week. Both Facebook and Lazerow have urged brands to combine paid and owned media on the social network to reach as wide an audience as possible.

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