WPP's Latest Digital Buying Spree

WPP companies have been busy on the acquisition front this week, buying two firms and investing in a third.

Terms weren’t disclosed although it’s fair to say they’re not exactly Publicom-sized M&A agreements. But then few deals are. And the WPP investments are noteworthy given that social media, digital integrated solutions and demand generation will continue to grow in importance among Adland service offerings.

On the social media front, research arm Kantar bought a minority stake in a UK social TV operation called SecondSync. The company does analysis of social media conversations around TV broadcasts to provide insights for media planning and audience research.

Based in the UK, the startup was launched last year and is said to be in ramp-up mode—adding staff, building a suite of advertising tool and preparing to expand geographically.

Meanwhile JWT subsidiary XM Asia purchased a majority stake in Hong Kong digital consultancy Designercity. The shop was founded in London but relocated to Hong Kong in 2000. With a staff of over 100, the firm helps clients optimize customer experiences across websites, social media and e-commerce platforms. Clients include The Peninsula, Swire Hotels, Hong Kong Tourism Board and Hong Kong International Airport.



Earlier this week OgilivyOne bought Verticurl, which plans and executes targeted demand-generation marketing programs and develops software platforms for automating repetitive marketing tasks. Based in Singapore, the firm employs more than 160 staffers throughout Asia, the UK, Germany, the U.S. and Canada. 

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