The Social Chain Group acquires The Football Republic from FremantleMedia

Social Chain GroupSocial media marketing agency and media publishing house The Social Chain Group has acquired a network of sport social media channels, The Football Republic, from FremantleMedia. The deal will see TFR’s brands such as The Full Time Devils become a part of Media Chain – The Social Chain Group’s social media publishing house. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition will increase Media Chain’s sport network reach by more than 2.5 million, taking the company’s global sport network to over 17 million followers, adding to its SPORF network. Launched in 2015 by Shotglass Media, the digital arm of FremantleMedia UK, TFR has built a large fan base with three million followers across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Kat Hebden, managing director at Shotglass Media, said, “We launched The Football Republic because we saw a gap in the market for football entertainment content that served a young, digitally savvy audience. We believe Media Chain will provide a great home for these communities to continue to flourish.”

UK, Manchester & London

Merkle’s Dentsu Aegis Network acquires DWA digital media and marketing agency

Dentsu Aegis NetworkDentsu Aegis Network has acquired the global B-to-B digital media and marketing agency, DWA. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Established in 1996, DWA applies expertise in ad-tech, real-time insight, and management decision support to a range of integrated, global media including Programmatic, Search, Social, and Demand Generation.

The move will expand the B-to-B offering at people-based marketing agency, Merkle, increasing existing capabilities and offering brands in the technology and B-to-B sectors greater sophistication, integrated technology, data, creativity, and performance marketing. The new business will be branded “DWA, a Merkle company”.

David Williams, President and CEO of Merkle, said, “There’s a growing group of enterprise level, B-to-B and technology businesses, all moving at breakneck pace to adopt the best advertising solutions and platforms. DWA’s client list reflects a clear early-mover advantage. The shift toward people-based marketing, led by Merkle, is as relevant in B-to-B as it is elsewhere. This acquisition will strengthen our ability to deliver those capabilities for B-to-B clients, at scale.”

USA, New York, NY & San Francisco, CA

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Zeta Global acquires Disqus

Zeta GlobalThe data-driven marketing technology innovator Zeta Global has acquired the audience engagement platform Disqus. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Disqus powers an open and independent web of 4 million publishers including The Atlantic, Destructoid, Spoiler TV and TMZ. Since 2007, Disqus has focused on helping independent publishers build audiences through its audience development platform by giving publishers tools to interact with readers.

Combined with Zeta’s leading marketing platform, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the acquisition makes Zeta the only company able to offer personalised real-time marketing at scale on the open web.

David A. Steinberg, Zeta Global CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder, said, “We’re redefining the marketing technology space with actionable data, artificial intelligence that answers business problems and a marketing hub that serves as the nerve centre for data-driven marketers. Disqus extends and enhances this strategy. Marketers typically have to make tradeoffs between reaching engaged audiences on social platforms with massive reach and using tools that give them control and access to granular targeting capabilities. Disqus strengthens Zeta’s ability to offer the best of both worlds with the scale, visibility and performance marketers have been asking for.”

USA, New York, NY & San Francisco, CA

WPP’s December acquisitions – Crystal Semantics, Vocanic, Social Lab, Fisheye Analytics, Richard Attias & Associates, ARMI, RC&M, ClickMedia and MASSCOM

wppWPP ends the year with nine acquisitions.

1) Mindshare to acquire MASSCOM media agency in Philippines: December 20, 2013

WPP’s wholly owned operating company, Mindshare, a global media agency network, is to acquire the business and assets of Media Arts System and Services Company, Inc. in the Philippines.

MASSCOM was established in 1986 as an independent media agency, serving Unilever exclusively in the Philippines. MASSCOM provides media planning, strategy and buying services to Unilever, the global fast-moving consumer goods company and a top advertiser in the Philippines.

2) GroupM to acquire majority stake in social media marketing agency, ClickMedia in Vietnam: December 19, 2013

WPP’s wholly owned operating company, GroupM, WPP’s global media investment management arm, is to acquire a majority stake in ClickMedia, a social media marketing agency in Vietnam.

Established in 2008, ClickMedia is a full service social media marketing firm which provides social media strategy, campaign strategy and implementation, as well as social media listening, crisis prevention and management.

Clients include Unilever, FrieslandCampina, Piaggio and Estee Lauder. ClickMedia’s unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2012 were VND 23.7 billion with unaudited gross assets at the same date of VND 12.0 billion. The agency employs 55 people.

3) Grey to acquire majority stake in RC&M, a rural communications and marketing services provider in India: December 18, 2013

WPP’s wholly owned operating company, Grey, the advertising network of Grey Group, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in RC&M, one of India’s largest rural communications and marketing services providers.

RC&M is a pioneer in experiential marketing in India, delivering integrated activation solutions, encompassing creative designing to production & implementation. With a formidable reach across 400,000 Indian villages and 5,000 towns, the company is a leader in the organised rural/semi-urban activation market.

Founded in 1990, RC&M is headquartered in Delhi, with offices in Mumbai and Bengaluru.

RC&M’s unaudited revenues for the year ending 31 March 2013 were approximately INR 360 million. The company employs more than 320 people and services clients in the automotive, industrial automation, FMCG and durable sectors.

RC&M marks WPP’s 12th acquisition in India in the last nine years.

4) Millward Brown acquires majority stake in ARMI-Marketing in Russia and Ukraine: December 18, 2013

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company Millward Brown, a global leader in brand, media and communications research, is to acquire a majority stake in ARMI-Marketing in Russia.

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Moscow, ARMI is a leading provider of market research services in Russia and Ukraine. Clients include leading multinational and local brands, including two-thirds of Russia’s top 15 advertisers.

ARMI’s consolidated unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2012 were approximately RUB 735 million. The company employs around 200 people.

5) WPP takes stake in Richard Attias & Associates: December 17, 2013

WPP has taken a 30% stake in strategic consultants Richard Attias & Associates.

Under the active leadership of founder chairman Richard Attias, RAA has built a reputation for helping governments and corporations articulate their global objectives.

Events led by Attias include the World Economic Forum in Davos and other regions, the Clinton Global Initiative, launch of the Euro in 2000, the 2008 Arab Strategy Forum, the APEC CEO Summit in Hawaii, the 15th African Securities Exchange Association in Marrakech, Doha GOALS Forum, The Middle East Peace Summit in Jordan, the contract for the signature of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Marrakech, the Monaco Media Forum and the Nobel Laureates Conference. In 2010, Richard Attias founded The New York Forum, an annual meeting to promote economic leadership and in 2012, The New York Forum AFRICA, a pan-African business and investment platform. In 2014, RAA will be producing 14 symposiums.

Commenting on the partnership, WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell said, “By building this partnership with global influencer Richard Attias , WPP confirms its strategy to support countries to brand their nations and corporations to have access to faster growing markets. Our ambition is to create together with Richard a world champion in the field of strategic communication, international conferences and global action oriented events.”

RAA is based in New York, with other offices in Paris, London, Rabat and Dubai. RAA employs 50 people and has revenues of around US$35 million.

Public sector clients of RAA have included the African Development Bank, Bahrain, Brazil, China, Dubai, France, Gabon, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, UAE, UK, United Nations and the US.

6) Kantar to acquire Fisheye Analytics, a media monitoring and analytics services business in Singapore : December 16, 2013

WPP’s wholly-owned data investment management business Kantar, is to acquire the entire issued share capital of Fisheye Analytics Pte. Ltd., a media monitoring and analytics services business based in Singapore.

Founded in 2009 in Singapore with an R&D centre in Hyderabad, Fisheye employs 14 people. The company, which will become part of Kantar Media, works with some of the biggest sports governing bodies, international organisations and governments from Europe to Asia.

For the year ending 31 October 2013, Fisheye’s unaudited revenues were SGD 782,871, with gross assets as at the same date of SGD 332,162.

7) Ogilvy & Mather to acquire majority stake in social marketing agency, Social Lab in Belgium : December 12, 2013

WPP’s wholly-owned marketing communications network, Ogilvy & Mather, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Social Lab, a social marketing agency based in Belgium with offices in Paris and Amsterdam.

Founded in 2010 and employing 50 people, Social Lab specialises in social media marketing. Clients include IKEA, Club Med, Interbrew, L’Oréal, Galbani, Electrabel GDF Suez, Nespresso, Oasis, Delhaize and the National Lotery. Social Lab’s unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2012 were EUR 3.1 million with gross assets as at the same date of EUR 0.4million.

8) GroupM to acquire majority stake in Vocanic, a social media marketing business in Asia : December 10, 2013

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company, GroupM, WPP’s global media investment management arm, is to acquire a majority stake in Vocanic Pte Ltd., a social media marketing business in Asia.

Based in Singapore with offices in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, Vocanic is a full service social media marketing firm. Established in 2005, Vocanic has 70 people providing social media strategy consulting, social technology, social media program and campaign management, community management and social media analytics.

For the year ending 31 December 2012, Vocanic’s revenues were SGD 4.3 million, with gross assets of SGD 2.1 million.

Vocanic’s client list includes blue chip business partners such as StarHub, Axis, EDB, SAP, Astro, Unilever, Dell, Symantec, Mead Johnson, Danone, WingTai Retail, MHD, and Standard Chartered Bank.

9) 24/7 Media acquires digital agency Crystal Semantics In the UK: December 9, 2013

WPP Digital’s marketing technology company 24/7 Media, has acquired the entire issued share capital of Crystal Semantics Limited. Crystal Semantics is a provider of semantic advertising solutions.

With its proprietary technology, Crystal Semantics accurately matches advertising to the meaning of a page of web content, greatly reducing the risk of inappropriate advertising placement. With the acquisition, the combined companies will provide distinct advantages to both advertiser and publisher clients through improved advertising relevance and enhanced brand protection. Founded in 2001 and based in London, Crystal Semantics is a major provider of online data services to advertising agencies, networks and exchanges.

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