WPP consolidates stake in Chinese digital ad firm

WPP is to maintain its minority interest in digital shop InGameAdvertisng (IGA) after participating in a second round of financing.

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The company, the world’s largest advertising network by revenue, is making a second investment in the Shanghai based in-game advertising network, alongside existing investor Revolution Capital.

The venture sees WPP secure IGA’s minority interest, while also continuing its strategy of development in “fast growing” markets like the BRICs (Brazil, India, China and Russia).

The advertising network’s revenue in China is approximately £680m, making it WPP’s fourth largest market.

WPP’s chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell expects China to overtake Germany, which is third with £815m in revenue during 2012, followed by the UK, which has revenues of £1.25bn.

According to the company’s third-quarter results last month, revenue growth in mainland China was up 26.6%, and growth in all of its Asian markets offset slower gains in the US and Western Europe.

For WPP, the IGA minority stake purchase is part of an ongoing strategy to boost its digital offering in emerging markets.

Speaking at the Guardian Changing Advertising Summit last month, Mark Read, director of strategy at WPP and CEO of WPP Digital, said that new technologies will not affect traditional creativity in advertising.

He added: “If you get traditionally creative people really engaged in technology, that’s where you get really good ideas. Idea driven marketing doesn’t go away just because of the technology.”

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