Essence is added to the GroupM fold

WPP’s Group M has acquired independent digital media buying agency Essence.

The announcement:

WPP’s GroupM, the world’s leading global media investment group, announces plans for the addition of Essence Digital Limited (“Essence”), the global agency that is the world’s largest independent buyer of digital media, to its portfolio in concert with WPP’s acquisition of a majority stake in the company. Following the combination of the two marketplace leaders, Essence will continue operating as an independent brand, but with the advantage of access to GroupM’s global reach and infrastructure.

Founded in 2005 in London, with offices in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore and Tokyo, Essence employs more than 500 people and deploys campaigns in more than 70 markets, managing media spend of over US$ 700 million. The agency blends data science, objective media, and captivating experiences to build valuable connections between brands and consumers.

Current clients in Essence’s rapidly diversifying client base include Financial Times, Google, HP, Viber and Tesco Mobile. While continuing to compete for business independently, Essence will also collaborate with GroupM’s agencies — Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, and Maxus — on specific assignments.

“The addition of Essence to GroupM represents significant expansion of our digital expertise, particularly with the Google technology stack. This is consistent with GroupM’s overall policy of a technology agnostic approach,” said Rob Norman, Chief Digital Officer, GroupM. “We’re delighted to welcome and begin collaborating with the talented colleagues that come with WPP’s strategic investment in Essence.”

“Essence has a proud history of using technology, data and transparent media buying to advance the digital advertising industry,” said Christian Juhl, CEO, Essence. “We’re proud to work with some of the world’s most advanced clients, running global campaigns across more than 70 markets. In GroupM, we have found a partner who shares our vision and augments our capabilities with global scale, access to media that isn’t yet digital and the global partnerships and platforms to further advance our agenda.”

This acquisition continues WPP’s strategy of investing in fast growth markets, new media and digital, including data and the application of technology. WPP’s digital revenues were US$6.9 billion in 2014, representing 36% of the Group’s total revenues. WPP has set a target of 40-45% of revenue to be derived from digital in the next five years. Collectively, WPP generates worldwide billings of US$76 billion, revenues of US$19 billion and employs over 190,000 people (including associates and investments) in 112 countries.

Source: GroupM media release


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