Western Union Consolidates Digital Duties Under Profero

Relatively Small Shop on Roll for Global Accounts

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Western Union has consolidated global search marketing at its digital agency Profero after a competitive pitch, Ad Age has learned. AKQA previously handled search for the money-transferring service.

The independent digital shop began working with Western Union in 2006 for digital creative in Europe and has since expanded to include U.S. work and digital media.

Western Union spent $16.6 million in U.S. measured media in 2010, according to Kantar Media.

While Profero has been a magnet for global business, -- it nabbed non-U.S. global digital duties for vodka brand Smirnoff, also from AKQA, earlier this year -- the shop is still relatively small in the U.S. The agency brought in $6.3 million in U.S. revenue last year, according to Ad Age Data Center. The agency was founded in London and has offices in Shanghai, Milan, Madrid, Tokyo and elsewhere.

It's many global offices could explain why the agency was awarded a global piece of business for search, which is a medium usually purchased on a market-by -market basis considering keywords' language and location restraints.

This week, Western Union also launched a new unit Western Union Ventures , which Exec-VP and Chief Marketing Officer Diane Scott will lead. The unit will oversee such properties as WesternUnion.com and mobile money transfer.

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