Twitter Strikes Another Big Ad-World Deal, This Time With WPP Group

Follows Twitter Pact with Starcom MediaVest

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WPP has signed a global strategic partnership with Twitter meant to let WPP take advantage of Twitter data to inform more effective campaigns and enhance ad targeting.

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell
WPP CEO Martin Sorrell Credit: Jonathan Fickies/Bloomberg

The companies plan to introduce new data products and services and to integrate Twitter data into WPP media and analytics platforms, they said in a statement describing the partnership, which will encompass a range of WPP companies including media network GroupM, consumer insights business Kantar and digital agencies including Wunderman.

The pact comes soon after WPP rival the Publicis Groupe announced a deal between its Starcom MediaVest network and Twitter, giving Starcom clients such as Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola first dibs on premium Twitter inventory and new ad units still on the drawing board, among other elements.

"As Twitter has grown, marketers are leveraging the platform for brand insights, relevant real-time messaging, and customer research," Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said in the statement about the WPP deal today. "This partnership will benefit clients by pairing Twitter with WPP's world-class analytics, targeting, and creative capabilities."

The companies did not elaborate on how the new deal will work. WPP will be increasing its spending on Twitter in the coming years, but the real value is WPP's ability to use Twitter's global real-time data set to inform ads, PR, market research and creative.

WPP promised further announcements "regarding applications of the partnership will be made in the coming weeks and months."

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell recently told the Harvard Business Review that Twitter is more "a PR medium" than an advertising vehicle and "reduces communication to superficialities and lacks depth." Today he described Twitter "not only as a social platform, but also as a window into consumer attitudes and behavior in real time."

"We are delighted to announce this very wide-ranging strategic partnership and to ensure that Twitter data is a key ingredient in many of our disciplines," Mr. Sorrell said in the statement.

WPP said the deal will help develop GroupM client investments on Twitter, particularly in the U.S., Western Europe, Japan, Turkey, Mexico and Brazil.