WPP, Snapchat and Daily Mail Launch New Digital Content Agency Called Truffle Pig

Shop Positions Itself as One-Stop Shop For Digital and Video Production, Media Planning, Analytics and Positioning

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Martin Sorrell
Martin Sorrell

WPP, the Daily Mail and Snapchat are launching a new agency called Truffle Pig, a content marketing shop that will focus on digital content, production, media planning and analytics.

The companies, which announced the venture Tuesday morning at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, will all have equal ownership with no single party in control, said WPP chief Martin Sorrell.

The newly formed agency will offer services like content projects, positioning and messaging, video and photography, data and analytics, audience development and planning, among other capabilities. Truffle Pig will at first test content and marketing on Snapchat, the Daily Mail and sibling brand Elite Daily, though the agency is not limited to just WPP clients or Daily Mail properties.

Alexander Jutkowitz, managing partner at Group SJR, a digital marketing company acquired by WPP's Hill & Knowlton in 2013, will lead the new entity. At launch, the shop will focus on the U.S., have about 12 employees and will be headquartered in New York, but it will utilize Snapchat's 3V -- "vertical video view" -- production space in Los Angeles. The name of the agency is a reference to a type of pig used to locate truffles, said Jon Steinberg, CEO of Daily Mail North America.

Mr. Jutkowitz said that more and more content is being produced than ever before, but brands often need it to fit better with their overall messaging. Mr. Steinberg called the new shop an "upstream agency," noting that it will identify where the content will live at the time the work is produced, not after.

Mr. Sorrell said that he first met Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel about six months ago through Mr. Steinberg. At the time, the conversation was around getting sponsorship from WPP clients for Snapchat's content offering Discover.

Mr. Steinberg said that the new agency will evolve the way media planning and creative development is done, though he added that "I don't think we will be the only ones to do this."

For WPP, Mr. Sorrell said "this is another opportunity to develop content for clients," though the new entity will ostensibly offer more informed data analytics, which will be at the core of the offering.

The services themselves are obviously nothing new, but Mr. Jutkowitz said that the offering is different because all of the services offered are "in one place," as opposed to at several agencies within one holding company or at multiple agencies for one client.

When discussing the prospect of Truffle Pig competing with existing WPP agencies, Mr. Sorrell said that adland should be prepared to cannibalize its own agencies: "I believe in eating your own children."

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