Buying Again, WPP Acquires Canada's Twist Image

Digital Shop Counts Clients Including Walmart and TD Bank

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Twist Image CEO Mark Goodman, Chief Operating Officer Aubrey Rosenhek, President Mitch Joel and Chief Product Officer Mickael Kanfi
Twist Image CEO Mark Goodman, Chief Operating Officer Aubrey Rosenhek, President Mitch Joel and Chief Product Officer Mickael Kanfi

WPP, the world's largest advertising group, is keeping up its acquisition pace with the purchase of Twist Image, a Canadian digital marketing agency.

Twist Image, founded in 2000, has offices in Montreal and Toronto and employs over 100 full-time staff working on accounts including Dairy Farmers of Canada, TD Bank and Walmart.

"It will be business as usual for us," said Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image. "We are happy with the business we are doing and we hope that this partnership with WPP will help us access new and bigger clients."

WPP rivals Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group are planning to merge this year to form a new No. 1 agency holding company. But WPP, headed by CEO Martin Sorrell, has been very active on the acquisition trail, closing 54 deals last year, more than any other agency group, and more than 6 more in 2014 so far. In Canada, it acquired John St., a creative agency based in Toronto, last year.

The companies declined to disclose terms of the deal, but Twist Image will be a relatively small addition to the WPP empire. Twist revenue last year totaled the equivalent of $12.2 million, WPP said. Revenue at WPP Group last year totaled $17.3 billion.

WPP's digital revenue has also been on the rise, contributing almost 35% of the group's total last year. The company aims to grow its share of digital close to 45% over the next five years.

Havas said earlier this week that it had bought Revenue Frontier, a California-based direct response company specializing in distributing content.

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