WPP has acquired New York-based 24/7 Real Media for $649m (£328m) as it looks to enhance its presence in the digital arena. The marketing services provider paid all cash for the digital marketing company, which is listed on NASDAQ and has offices in the US, Europe and the Far East.
The advertising giant says the acquisition will boost its presence in search marketing, digital media and will add strong technology skills. Chief executive Martin Sorrell says of the acquisition: “Our clients and therefore our industry are becoming more technology driven.”
24/7 Real Media reported revenues of $200m last year, up 43% on the previous year.
The acquisition underscores the urgency with which advertising companies are looking to tap into the digital arena and connect with the youth market. Earlier this week Sorrell revealed that WOO was eyeing small- to medium-sized acquisitions of digital advertising companies amid growing competition from the likes of Google.
GroupM, the WPP-owned consolidated media buying point, estimates that online advertising will exceed $33bn (£16.5bn) in 2007, or equivalent to more than 8% of global advertising spend.