London—Advertising and communications holding company WPP has opened a new unit, Xaxis, that ties together its current ad-buying technologies with a massive database of customer profiles. This move, according to the company, will extend its capabilities in audience targeting via ad exchanges and agency trading desks.
Xaxis will administer a database of more than 500 million profiles that include demographic, financial, purchase and geographic data. The company will offer data-informed ad services for clients of WPP's GroupM media agency group.
WPP said its database contains only anonymous information. Ads directed at particular individuals based on behavioral tracking will include the ad industry's new icon, providing information on why viewers are seeing the ad and giving them the ability to opt out of receiving future ads.