WPP Accelerates Digital Roll-Up, Adds Major Stake In Acceleration
WPP confirmed today that it has acquired a majority stake in the parent companies that own digital marketing services firm Acceleration.
The acquisition is part of the latest wave of worldwide digital agency consolidation as holding companies continue to bulk up on digital assets to meet client demand for services in the sector.
Acceleration has offices in London, New
York, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Dubai. The shop helps companies develop, implement and manage digital marketing and publishing technologies. Clients include Celebrity Cruises, The
Economist and South African Tourism.
The Acceleration deal was made through WPP Digital, the holding company’s digital strategy and oversight arm. The company now generates nearly $4.8 billion annually from digital activities, which is over 30% of its revenue base. The company has said it expects digital to account for between 35% and 40% of its revenues within the next five years.
WPP alone has purchased or agreed to buy four digital shops in the last four weeks, most notably a deal to acquire big independent agency AKQA for a reported $540 million late last month.
Just last week, Aegis Group agreed to pay $86 million (and possibly more contingent upon future performance) for Beijing-based digital agency Catch Stone Advertising. Omnicom is reportedly in talks to acquire the global independent agency LBi.
Ad agency JWT bought a majority stake in Finnish digital shop Activeark Oy, which is being folded into JWT Finland.
Around the same time, WPP sister agency Ogilvy & Mather bought a 70% stake in Brazilian digital shop Foster Informatica. Based in Sao Paulo, agency clients include Monsanto, Bayer and Danone.