JWT Acquires Digitaria, Accelerates Digital Competency

WPP's JWT New York on Thursday announced the acquisition of full-service digital agency Digitaria. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In line with industry-wide trends, the deal is expected to accelerate JWT North America's move toward placing digital at the core of the agency.

Digitaria will function as a unit of JWT North America, helping to service JWT's clients as well as its own existing clients using its proprietary "Digital Brand Migration" approach. The company specializes in transferring brands to multiple digital platforms such as Web sites, mobile devices, touchscreens, social media applications and kiosks.

"We consider ourselves brand experts in our field," said Dan Khabie, CEO of Digitaria. "JWT's network offers a quality and scale that no other agency provides." Khabie will retain his title as CEO of Digitaria, and will now report directly to JWT North America CEO and Worldwide Digital Director David Eastman.

Founded in 1997, Digitaria now boasts 100 employees, along with top clients, including Qualcomm, NBC, Dreamworks and ESPN. Digitaria claims seven areas of expertise, including Web site and platform design; Web analytics and consulting; SEO and performance marketing; interaction and visual design; social media; and mobile, signage and emerging platforms; as well as technology consulting and cloud computing.

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Some of Digitaria's best-known work includes the NFL's international site NFL-360.com, the Best Western To Go! iPhone app, the U.S. Soccer site ussoccer.com and mobile site, and the National Geographic Field Expedition: Mongolia, and many others.

"From Qualcomm to the NFL, Digitaria has helped its clients build thriving digital properties," Eastman said in a statement.

Digitaria, which will retain its name, is based in San Diego and has satellite offices in Dallas, New York and Los Angeles. It will maintain its headquarters in San Diego while expanding its presence in New York.

JWT's clients include Bayer, Bloomberg, Cadbury, Diageo, DTC, Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, and Kellogg's, to name a few.

In late March, JWT's Rosemarie Ryan and Ty Montague announced plans to leave the agency to start their own shop. Ryan, JWT's North American president, had been with the company since 2004. Montague, co-president and chief creative officer for N.A., joined in 2005. In their absence, Eastman was named CEO of JWT North America, in addition to his role as Worldwide Digital Director.

1 comment about "JWT Acquires Digitaria, Accelerates Digital Competency ".
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  1. Michael Lange, August 16, 2010 at 8:53 a.m.

    It sounds like a typical JWT deal. The network is falling more and more behind with it's digital capabilities. My opinion is that they need to make stronger acquisitions than continue to bottom feed. This deal will not help. Do a google maps search on Digitaria's address in san Diego and you see that this is a patched together group of multiple diverse agencies. JWT is late in the game and Digitaria did not know how to become significant. Perfect combo?

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