Omnicom, WPP Snap Up Digital Shops

In a testament to the continued momentum of the online advertising industry, two of the world's largest advertising holding companies Wednesday said they had purchased interactive marketing shops. Omnicom Group Inc. bought a majority share of San Francisco-based EVB, and Wunderman, a direct marketing property of WPP group, purchased Seattle-based Zaaz.

EVB CEO Daniel Stein said that his shop and Omnicom share a vision of the Internet as an outlet for video and rich-media ads. "We think the Internet has potential to replace TV as a medium for the 'big thing' that other media support," he said, adding that EVB's future online advertising efforts will include " enormous video shoots, CG graphics, 3D modeling."

Stein added that EVB had talked with Omnicom for more than two years, but that discussions only got serious in the last several months.

Omnicom--which owns three global ad networks, BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide, and TBWA Worldwide, as well as media planning and buying properties OMD and PHD--boasts a client list including Apple, McDonald's, Masterfoods, Michelin, Adidas, Nissan, Absolut, Häagen-Dazs, and Sony PlayStation. EVB's client roster includes some of the same names, such as Adidas and Wrigley.



Meanwhile, John Simpson, director of marketing for Zaaz, said the company will mostly provide Web analytics services to direct marketing firm Wunderman, a component of global holding group WPP. Although Zaaz began chiefly as a Web design firm, it morphed into an analytics consultancy, Simpson said. He added that many marketers are still grappling with how to prioritize, sift, and organize large amounts of Web data: "Now you have this wealth of data, but in a lot of cases--the majority even--marketers aren't sure how to act on it."

According to Simpson, this may mean a thorough-going, nuts-and-bolts makeover for a brand's Web presence: "One of the main things we do is just helping them define the role of the site. It might sound simple, but often our number one job is going in with the client and mapping those goals, down to a page by page, layer by layer basis."

Zaaz's client roster includes Converse and Microsoft; Wunderman also works with Microsoft.

Next story loading loading..