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‘Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP’ has made another foray into the online ad world, this time with a deal for LA-based interactive agency Schematic.

The acquisition, reckoned to be worth around $100m if targets are met, will see Schematic folded into the ad giant’s digital unit.

Together with its $650m purchase of 24/7 Real Media in May, WPP said the deal furthered its strategy of “developing its networks in fast growing markets and sectors and strengthening its capabilities in digital media”.

In its first half results, WPP said 23% of its total yearly revenues were now coming from the digital and direct marketing sector.

Schematic, founded eight years ago, says it specialises in creating ‘branded experiences’ on emerging digital platforms.

It was recently hired by ITV to design its video-on-demand service and has also done work for the likes of ABC, MTV, CNN and Time Warner.

According to WPP, the agency’s revenues for the year up to the end of March were just under US$30m.

Trevor Kaufman, Schematic's chief executive, told the New York Times:

“We’re more about creating branded experiences that consumers choose to have rather than shouting messages at them that they want to avoid.”

He added that the agency’s senior management had been given a ‘five-year earn-out’ as part of the deal.

The announcement follows a recent flurry of speculation after Sir Martin told Bloomberg that WPP was set to announce another digital acquisition.

But the rumour-mongering mainly focused on Spot Runner, the online ad exchange WPP invested in last year, and affiliate network TradeDoubler.


Published 11 September, 2007 by Richard Maven

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