Including minority-owned ventures, WPP at year-end 2007 claimed more than 110,000 full-time workers in more than 2,000 offices in 106 countries.
WPP in 2007 generated 46.4% of worldwide revenue from advertising and media. The rest came from marketing services.
WPP said digital services accounted for nearly 12% of 2007 worldwide revenue.
WPP operates in four business segments:
• Advertising and media: Global networks Grey Group, JWT,Ogilvy Group and Young & Rubicam Brands; Voluntarily United Group of Creative Agencies, which includes shops such as Berlin Cameron United; media agencies, under the banner of Group M, including global firms MediaCom, Mediaedge:cia and MindShare.
• Market research ("information, insight and consultancy"): WPP's Kantar, which includes Research International and Millward Brown.
• Public relations and public affairs: Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe, GCI, Hill & Knowlton, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and others.
• Branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications: Branding and design services (identity, packaging, literature, events, training, architecture) including Addison, Brand Union, Fitch, Lambie-Nairn, Landor Associates, The Partners and others; direct, field, retail, promotion and point-of-sale services including A. Eicoff, G2, OgilvyAction, OgilvyOne, RTC Relationship Marketing, RMG Connect, VML and Wunderman; healthcare communications including CommonHealth, GHG (Grey Healthcare Group), Ogilvy Healthworld, Sudler & Hennessey and others; specialist communications such as multicultural marketing, event marketing and business-to-business.
WPP implemented top management changes in 2007 at two key networks. Peter Stringham, a former chairman-CEO of Y&R North America and most recently head of group marketing at financial firm HSBC Holdings, took over as CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands in February 2007 after the embattled Ann Fudge retired.
Effective Jan. 1, 2007, James R. Heekin III moved up to chairman-CEO of Grey Group, succeeding Edward H. Meyer. Mr. Meyer retired after 50 years at Grey and more than three decades as CEO. Mr. Meyer, who turned 80 in January 2007, orchestrated Grey's sale to WPP in March 2005. Mr. Heekin had been chairman-CEO of Grey's flagship, Grey Worldwide, since September 2005.
WPP generated worldwide revenue of $12.38 billion in 2007, up 14.5% from $10.82 billion in 2006, as calculated by Ad Age based on average exchange rates for each year.
WPP's reported revenue (in pounds) rose 4.7%. On a constant currency basis (using 2007 exchange rates in both years to factor out currency fluctuations), WPP said revenue rose 8.2%--"chiefly due," WPP said, "to the 8.6% decline in the U.S. dollar against the pound sterling."
WPP said like-for-like or organic revenue, that is, revenue excluding acquisitions and on a constant currency basis, rose 5% in 2007.
WPP reported an operating margin of a record 15% in 2007, up from 14.5% in 2006.
The company in February 2008 left in place operating margin targets of 15.5% for 2008 and 16.0% for 2009.
In its 2007 annual report, released in May 2008, WPP listed long-term goals ("over the next five to 10 years"):
• Increase the combined geographic share of revenues of Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe, from about 25% to one-third.
• Aim to increase the share of revenue of marketing services from 54% to two-thirds.
• Increase the share of more measurable marketing services, "such as Information, Insight & Consultancy, and direct, interactive and internet," from about 40% of revenue to 50%.
WPP in 2007 was the No. 2 holding company in new business as measured by net equivalent revenue (anticipated annualized revenue from new business), according to the tally of Bear, Stearns & Co. analyst Alexia Quadrani.
WPP in 2007 had $170 million in net equivalent revenue from new business, just behind Omnicom ($175 million), Ms. Quadrani reported.
WPP ranked No. 1 on Bear Stearns' tally in gross reported billings (wins minus losses), but Ms. Quadrani adjusts billings of creative wins and media wins to arrive at an estimated net equivalent revenue associated with that business.
Bear Stearns aggregates account shifts reported in media, but it doesn't claim its new-business tally is all-inclusive, particularly in marketing services and outside the U.S. and U.K.
WPP said it had net new billings in 2007 of 5.03 billion pounds ($10.1 billion), a record for the company.
The bulk of the wins were in media: WPP's disclosures show Group M, its media-agencies unit, accounted for 73.3% of net new billings in 2007. In contrast, WPP disclosures show its ad agency networks -- Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, JWT, Y&R, Grey and United Group-- accounted for just 14.4% of net new billings.
What do big advertisers pay WPP for media planning and buying? WPP offered a clue last year when it was trying to minimize the loss of two large MindShare accounts, Sears Holdings and 20th Century Fox. First, WPP said estimated billings on the two accounts were just $676 million, or little more than half of what trade reports said. Then it said annualized 2006 revenue on those two accounts was $18 million, equal to just 2.66% of WPP's estimated billings.
WPP as of early 2008 said it worked for more than 340 of the Fortune Global 500 Companies; more than half of the Nasdaq 100; and about 610 national or multinational clients in three or more disciplines. WPP said it served more than 370 clients in four disciplines; those clients account for 58% of WPP revenue. WPP works with more than 270 clients in six or more countries.
WPP's 10 largest clients in 2006 based on revenue, listed alphabetically, were Altria Group, American Express Co., BAT, Ford Motor Co., GlaxoSmithKline, IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp., Procter & Gamble Co., Pfizer and Unilever. Those clients accounted for about 22% of 2006 revenue, according to WPP's June 2007 20-F filing. No client represented more than 6% of 2006 revenue.
DISCIPLINES AND REGIONS
As noted, WPP in 2007 generated 46.4% of worldwide revenue from advertising and media. The rest came from marketing services.
Specifically, WPP generated 46.4% of 2007 revenue from advertising and media; 28.6% from branding/identity, healthcare and specialist communications; 10.4% from public relations/public affairs; and the remaining 14.6% from its market research business ("information, insight & consultancy").
Worldwide 2007 revenue from advertising and media was $5.75 billion. The Ad Age DataCenter estimates that media --Group M, which includes MindShare, MediaCom and Mediaedge:cia-- generated $2.07 billion or 36% of that sector's revenue.
WPP said Group M revenue grew more than 14% in 2007, the fourth consecutive year of growth at 14% or above. "Media investment management continued to show the strongest growth of all our communications services," WPP said in February 2008.
WPP said the advertising-and-media sector's like-for-like revenue grew 4.5% in 2007. Operating margin in the sector was 16%.
WPP said $1.44 billion or 11.6% of 2007 worldwide revenue came from digital services, up from $974 million (9% of revenue) in 2006. In dollar terms, that put WPP just behind Omnicom Group in digital revenue; Ad Age estimates Omnicom's 2007 digital revenue at $1.6 billion or 13% of revenue.
WPP said four major marketing-services networks (Grey Group's G2; JWT's RMG Connect; Ogilvy Group's OgilvyOne; Young & Rubicam Brands' Wunderman) and WPP Digital (network for 24/7 Real Media, Blue Interactive, Schematic and other units) had 2007 digital revenue of $774 million, or about 54% of WPP's digital business.
The four marketing-services networks alone had stated 2006 digital revenue of $501 million. WPP didn't disclose a figure for WPP Digital 2006 revenue, but WPP Digital had little revenue to show on a consolidated basis until 2007, when WPP bought 24/7, Blue, Schematic and some other ventures. WPP owned 24/7, Blue and Schematic for only part of 2007, so 2008 will be the first year for WPP Digital to report full-year revenue from those ventures.
WPP's market research business had stated 2007 worldwide digital revenue of $348 million (up from $242 million in 2006) representing 19% of that sector's revenue.
Group M had stated 2007 worldwide digital revenue of $238 million representing an estimated 11.5% of its revenue. In 2006, Group M had stated digital revenue of $156 million or an estimated 8.6% of revenue.
Another way to look at things: Ad Age DataCenter estimates that Group M's estimated worldwide revenue grew by $254 million in 2007; $82 million or 32% of that growth came from digital. That helps explain how Group M has been able to grow far faster than the traditional media market, which in 2007 was essentially flat in the U.S. (based on measured spending).
Other units of WPP accounted for the rest of the company's digital haul ($79 million in 2007; $75 million in 2006).
Looking at additional WPP sectors:
• Public relations 2007 revenue grew 8.2% on a like-for-like basis. WPP said in February 2008: "Particularly strong were Hill & Knowlton, Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Finsbury and Clarion in the U.K. and Public Strategies in the USA."
• Market-research revenue grew 2.7% on a like-for-like basis in 2007.
• Branding/identity, healthcare and specialist communications grew 6.1% on a like-for-like basis in 2007. WPP said: "Direct, internet and interactive businesses showed particularly strong revenue growth."
And what of WPP's humble other venture, Wire & Plastic Products, a British manufacturer of baskets and household wares that Group Chief Executive Martin Sorrell used as the publicly traded entity on which to build his agency business? WPP said: "Revenues and profits at the group's manufacturing division were disappointingly down in 2007." But hardly a basket case; check out WPP's stylish dish-drying racks.
Looking at revenue by region:
WPP generated 36.6% of 2007 revenue from North America. Revenue for that region fell 1.1% (as reported by WPP in pounds). On a like-for-like or organic basis, WPP said revenue in the region rose 3.8%. WPP said U.S. revenue had like-for-like growth of nearly 4% in 2007.
Europe accounted for 41.2% of 2007 revenue (including 14.4% from WPP's home market of the U.K. and 26.8% from Continental Europe).
The rest of world --Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa, Middle East-- contributed 22.2% of revenue. This regional grouping had the fastest reported revenue growth, up 11.7% in 2007 (as reported in pounds).
"All geographical and functional segments showed growth," WPP said. "Three geographical growth speeds remain though: fastest growth in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Central and Eastern Europe; a surprisingly steady speed in the United States; and a slower speed in Western Europe."
WPP's revenue in Mainland China had like-for-like growth of more than 31%, while India grew almost 23% on a like-for-like basis in 2007.
One intriguing WPP move: WPP's Ogilvy & Mather in 2007 set up a joint operation with client Lenovo Group to handle Lenovo's global advertising from Bangalore, India, giving Lenovo access to lower-cost labor. Lenovo, a Chinese computer maker, emerged as a global player in PCs with its April 2005 acquisition of the PC operations of IBM Corp., another Ogilvy client.
WPP in 2007 spent $1.2 billion on acquisitions, the largest being 24/7 Real Media.
Acquired companies kicked in WPP revenue of $265 million for the periods in 2007 that WPP owned those businesses.
After watching others make top-dollar digital deals (Publicis popped for Digitas; Google gobbled down DoubleClick), WPP opened up its checkbook for 24/7, which operated a web ad network, provided search services and handled ad management services for web publishers. WPP closed the deal in July 2007 for $649 million.
WPP said 24/7 managed more than $200 million in search engine billings; adding WPP's existing search engine billings, that expanded WPP's search engine billings to more than $450 million. (WPP in early 2008 consolidated various search businesses including 24/7's under the banner of Group M Search.)
24/7 reported 2006 revenue of $200.2 million, consisting of revenue from media (web advertising, e-mail), search and technology (software licensing and other services). Excluding costs of those revenues (money paid to web sites and providers of e-mail lists; money paid to search engines; expenses tied to technology revenue), 24/7 reported 2006 gross profits of $70.8 million.
Under WPP accounting, WPP counts as revenue the total revenue of 24/7's media and search sectors plus the gross profits of the search sector. By that standard, 24/7 had $135 million in 2006 worldwide revenue; WPP in May 2007 released consensus revenue estimates of 24/7, under WPP's definition of revenue, of $161 million for 2007 and $199 million for 2008. WPP owned 24/7 for six months of 2007 and so collected an estimated $80.5 million in revenue from the unit.
The acquisitive WPP was constantly wheeling and dealing in 2007, particularly in a) digital, b) China and c) all of the above. A summary of deals follows.
MORE DIGITAL DEALS
• All Global: WPP in January 2007 bought All Global, internet research company based in London. Founded in 2002. Employed 44 people. Stated revenue for year ended April 2006: $13.2 million (7.3 million pounds).
• Reddion: WPP in January 2007 bought Dutch digital media agency. Stated 2005 revenue: $3.0 million (2.2 million euros). Part of Group M.
• JumpTap: WPP Digital in January 2007 bought 2.5% stake in mobile search and advertising firm based in Cambridge, Mass.
• Global Strategies International: WPP in March 2007 bought search marketing agency based in West Hartford, Conn. Stated 2006 revenue: $2.2 million. Part of [email protected].
• Quisma: WPP in March 2007 bought 75% stake in Munich-based search marketing agency. Founded in 2001. Employed 29 people. Stated 2007 revenue: $21 million (15.4 million euros). Part of Group M Search.
• Iconmobile: WPP Digital in March 2007 bought a 40% stake in Iconmobile, a German-based mobile marketing network. Headquarters in Berlin; other offices in Munich, Antibes, London, Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo. Clients included O2, Orange, Vodafone and France Telecom. Stated 2006 revenue: $8.2 million (6.6 million euros).
• VideoEgg: WPP Digital in April 2007 bought a minority stake in video ad network for online communities.
• These Days: WPP in May 2007 bought digital marketing agency in Belgium. Stated 2006 revenue: $6.3 million (4.6 million euros). Part of Wunderman.
• Aqua Online: WPP in May 2007 bought digital agency in South Africa. Stated 2006 revenue: $4.0 million (28.2 million Rand). Part of Wunderman.
• Lee & Jang: OgilvyOne in June 2007 bought a 70% stake in Lee & Jang, a digital marketing agency in South Korea. Founded in 2001. Based in Seoul. Employed 35 people. Clients included Citibank, Daewoo Securities, PCA Life, Samsung Securities and Woori Investment & Securities. Stated 2006 revenue: $2.3 million (KRW 2,175m).
• Blue Interactive Marketing: WPP Digital in June 2007 bought Singapore-based digital agency. Clients included Hewlett-Packard, SAP, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Singapore Airlines and Intercontinental Hotels. Stated 2006 revenue: $7.4 million (SGD 11.1 million).
• Refinery: G2 in July 2007 bought Refinery, a Pennsylvania-based digital agency. Founded in 1995. Clients included Merck, Campbell's Soup Co., Merrill Lynch and AmGen. Employed 79 people. Stated 2006 revenue: $21.1 million. Folded into G2.
• OOT: WPP in September 2007 bought 20% stake in digital agency based in Italy. Stated 2006 revenue: $1.5 million (1.1 million euros). Part of Grey Group network.
• Schematic: WPP Digital in September 2007 bought Los Angeles-based digital agency. Founded in 1999. Employed 255 people at time of acquisition. Clients included Coca-Cola, Comcast, CondeNast, Disney, NBC Universal, Nokia, Panasonic, SanDisk, Target, Time Warner and Time Warner's Turner. Stated revenue of $29.6 million in year ended March 2007.
• Blast Radius: Wunderman in October 2007 bought digital agency in Vancouver, B.C. Stated 2006 revenue: $36.9 million.
• Johannes Leonardo: WPP in November 2007 backed New York agency startup of Jan Jacobs and Leo Premutico, formerly executive creative directors at Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi. WPP reports its holding as part of WPP Digital.
• Invidi: Group M in December 2007 bought a minority stake in Invidi Technologies Corp., which is developing addressable advertising systems for cable and satellite operators. Offices offices in Princeton, N.J., and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Employed 35 people. WPP joined existing investors Menlo Ventures, EnerTech Capital, Business Development Bank of Canada, InterWest Partners and Westbury Partners. Group M CEO Irwin Gotlieb joined Invidi's board.
• Tagora.com: JWT in January 2008 bought 75% stake in Brussels-based digital agency with 2006 revenue of $4.9 million (3.6 million euros). Employed 30 people. Clients included Radisson, Cisco, Carlsberg and the European Commission.
• LaComunidad Interactive and Event Marketing: Group M in February 2008 bought 75% stake in Amsterdam-based digital agency with 2007 revenue of $4.8 million (3.5 million euros). Focuses on viral marketing and social media.
• HeathWallace: WPP Digital in February 2008 bought 75% stake in U.K.-based web design firm with 2007 revenue of $8.6 million. Founded in 2001. Based in Reading with an office in Hong Kong and employed 60 people at the time of acquisition, up from 30 people at year-end 2006 and 15 people in mid-2006. Clients included HSBC, RBS, ABN Amro and AIB.
• NuConomy: WPP Digital in February 2008 bought minority stake in web analytics company with offices in San Francisco and Israel.
• Realtime Worlds: WPP in April 2008 paid $8.1 million for a minority stake in Realtime Worlds, a video-game developer. Offices in Boulder, Colo., and Dundee, Scotland. Employed more than 200 people. WPP joined existing investors Maverick Capital and New Enterprise Associates. WPP already has a stake in WildTangent, an online game company.
• Star Echo: G2 in June 2007 bought a 51% stake in Star Echo, a marketing services agency in China. Founded in 2000. Employed 318 people. Clients included Procter & Gamble, Amway China, Perfect China, Dongfeng Nissan and Warner Bros. Stated 2006 revenue: $4.7 million (RMB 37.2 million).
• Dawson: WPP in October 2007 bought 51% stake in Dawson Integrated Marketing Communications, a marketing communications services group in China. Founded in 1997. Employed 270 people. Clients included Procter & Gamble, Nike, Nokia, Yili Milk and Guangdong Mobile. Stated 2006 revenue: $5.4 million (RMB 43.3 million).
• MeThinks: BatesAsia in October 2007 bought majority stake in MeThinks, an integrated marketing services agency in China. Founded in 2000. Based in Shanghai. Employed 98 people. Clients included Adidas, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble Co.'s Gillette and Duracell. Stated 2006 revenue: $4.4 million (RMB 34.9 million).
• Agenda Group: Wunderman in January 2008 bought Hong Kong-based digital agency with stated revenue of $9.2 million for year ended June 2007.
• Zdology: Research International in March 2008 bought a majority stake in Zdology, a leading shopper research specialist in China. Founded in 2004. Clients included Anheuser-Busch, Herborist Cosmetics, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Motorola, Pfizer and Wrigley China. Stated 2007 revenue: $815,000 (RMB 6.2 million).
• Evision: WPP's Bates 141 in April 2008 bought a majority stake in Evision, a digital agency in China. Founded in 2003. Based in Shanghai. Clients included Nike, Diageo, Mentos, Wyeth and Bao Steel. 2007 stated revenue: $3.8 million (RMB 28.9 million).
• HDT Holdings: WPP Digital in April 2008 bought a minority stake in HDT Holdings Technologies, a rich media advertising and technology company in China. Founded in 1999. Employed more than 270 people. WPP joined existing investors CA-JAIC China Internet Fund, Cheng Wei Ventures, Manitou Ventures and Sequoia.
• Interactive Television: Group M in June 2007 bought a majority stake in Interactive Television Private Ltd., an out-of-home marketing agency in India that specializes in cinema advertising and marketing in multiplexes, malls and stores. Founded in 1996. Employed 49 people. Clients included Maruti, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, ITC and Bharti Airtel. Stated revenue for year ended March 2006: $1 million (INR 45.75 million).
• Quasar: WPP in November 2007 bought 75% stake in digital marketing agency in India. Stated revenue in year ended March 2007: $2.3 million (INR 103.6 million).
• Encompass Events: JWT in January 2008 bought majority stake in Encompass Events Private Ltd., an events and promotion agency based in New Delhi, India. Employed 240 people. Clients included Accenture, Ford, GlaxoSmithKline, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, Microsoft, National Geographic Channel, Nokia and Pepsi. Stated revenue for year ended March 2007: $4.5 million (INR 206 million).
• Chateux Hospitality: Grey Group's G2 in April 2008 bought a majority stake in Chateux Hospitality in India. It creates customized solutions in activation marketing and relationship management. Operates in India under Rams brand name. Founded in 1998. Employed 148 people. Based in Gurgoan. Clients included American Express, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, AIG, Nestl�, Eli Lilly, HP India and Hero Honda. Stated revenue for year ended March 2007: $2.7 million (INR123.3 million).
• Comunicacion y Servicio Consultores: Grey Healthcare Group in January 2007 bought a majority stake in healthcare communications services agency based in Madrid, Spain. Founded in 1997. Clients included Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Abbott Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, Schering-Plough, and Boehringer Ingelheim. Stated 2005 revenue: $5.3 million (4.3 million).
• Empresa Tecnica de Communicacao: Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide in March 2007 bought 40% of Etco - Empresa Tecnica de Communicacao S/C Ltda (etcO), a Brazilian agency specializing in retail advertising. Founded in 1987. Employed 40 people. Stated 2006 revenue: $7.5 million.
• DataCore Marketing: WPP's KnowledgeBase Marketing in March 2007 bought 51% of DataCore Marketing, a strategic marketing, data and fulfillment services venture in Kansas City, Kan. Founded in 1992. Employed 119 people. Stated 2006 revenue: $14.9 million.
• Foresight: WPP's Lightspeed Research in March 2007 bought Foresight International, a specialist in survey consulting. Founded in 1994, Based in Lake Zurich, Ill. Employed 37 people. Clients included Citigroup, UTC, Enterprise, HCA and Cox Communications. Stated 2006 revenue: $7.2 million.
• Media Rights Capital: WPP in March 2007 bought 6.8% of Media Rights Capital II L.P., a company that finances and monetizes content across film, television, mobile and broadband. Founded in 2004. Offices in Los Angeles and New York. Other key investors included Goldman Sachs and AT&T. WPP's investment followed investments by WPP in the Weinstein Co. and online game publisher WildTangent.
• Tapsa: WPP in April 2007 bought Spanish marketing-communications firm. Employed 202 people. Stated 2006 revenue: $42 million.
• CHI & Partners: WPP in April 2007 bought 49.9% of London agency CHI & Partners (then known as Clemmow Hornby Inge). Employed 151 people. Stated revenue for year ended June 2006: $33.7 million.
• Teenage Research Unlimited: WPP's Research International in April 2007 bought Teenage Research Unlimited, a youth research firm. Founded in 1982. Based in Northbrook, Ill. Employed 24 people. Clients included Pepsi-Cola, Hewlett-Packard, News Corp.'s MySpace, Kraft, Viacom's MTV and Microsoft. Stated 2006 revenue: $6.1 million.
• WestawayGillis Consulting: Grey Healthcare Group in May 2007 bought WestawayGillis Consulting, a U.K.-based consultancy. Founded in 1996. Employed 30 people. Clients included Pfizer, Novartis, GSK, SanofiAventis and Wyeth. Stated 2006 revenue: $6 million (3.3 million pounds).
• Hedley Byrne: Y&R and Memeza, Y&R's South African empowerment partner, in June 2007 bought 51% of Y&R Hedley Byrne, a South African ad agency. Founded in 1984. Employed 121 people. Flagship client is South Africa's leading retailer, Pick n'Pay. Stated 2006 revenue: $10.3 million (ZAR 69 million).
• MediaX: Mediaedge:cia in June 2007 bought 100% of media agency MediaX in Austria. Based in Vienna. Employed 12 people. Stated 2006 revenue: $2.5 million (1.98 million euros).
• Pharmax: Ogilvy Healthworld in July 2007 bought a 70% stake in Pharmax Research & Consulting Co., a medical communications, research and consulting and conventions agency in South Korea. Founded in 1997. Based in Seoul. Employed 66 people. Clients included Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis. Stated revenue for year ended June 2006: $1.5 million (KRW 1,423 million).
• TRA: WPP and its Kantar unit in August 2007 made minority investment in media market research firm. Based in New York.
• PBN Holdings: WPP in September 2007 bought 49.9% stake in PBN Holdings, an integrated strategic communications consultancy specializing in Russia, Ukraine and CIS countries. Founded in 1983. Offices in Washington, London, Moscow, Kiev and Riga, Latvia. Employed 115 people. Clients included BP, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Enel, Merrill Lynch, Mittal Steel, Motorola, Telenor, Xerox and Western NIS Fund. Stated 2006 revenue: $10.6 million.
• Gregg Sedgwick Creative Strategy: Fitch, a design company owned by WPP, in September 2007 bought 51% of Gregg Sedgwick Creative Strategy, a brand consultancy in Dubai. Founded in 2001. Employed 46 people. Stated 2006 revenue: $8.9 million (AED 32.6 million). Renamed GSFitch.
• Plano.Trio Comunicacao: WPP in September 2007 bought 51% of Plano.Trio Comunicacao, an agency in Brazil specializing in trade and channel marketing, events, promotions and design. Founded in 2003. Based in Sao Paulo. Employed 350 full-time professionals and more than 3,800 field marketing reps. Clients included Grendene, Nokia, Procter & Gamble, Vivo and Whirlpool. Stated 2006 revenue: $47 million.
• Integrated Media Measurement: Kantar Media Research in January 2008 bought a minority stake in Integrated Media Measurement, San Mateo, Calif., a developer of an end-to-end media measurement system that links media exposure to consumer action using a mobile-phone-based digital monitoring system. Employed 60 people. KMR joined existing investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Advanced Technology Ventures.
• Cheskin: WPP's Added Value Group, a brand development agency, in January 2008 bought Cheskin, an innovation and design consultancy founded in 1946. Based in Redwood Shores, Calif., with offices in New York and Seattle. Employed 51 people. Clients included Microsoft, Del Monte, Visa, eBay and Wal-Mart. Stated 2006 revenue: $16.1 million.
• Yankelovich: Kantar's Henley Centre HeadlightVision in January 2008 bought Yankelovich Holdings, a U.S. consumer trends and lifestyle research business founded in 1958. At the time of the, WPP said Yankelovich and Henley Centre HeadlightVision would have a combined staff of 145 researchers and consultants based in Chapel Hill, N.C., New York, London, Delhi and Mumbai. Plans to expand into China were underway.
• Team Y&R: WPP in February 2008 bought a majority stake in Team Y&R Holdings, the holding company for a group of companies ("Team Group") in which WPP has held a minority stake since 1999 and which operates in the Middle East and North Africa. Team Group's agency operations in the region include Team Y&R, Asda'a, Intermarkets, Mediaedge:cia, Polaris and Wunderman. Has significant operations in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar and Oman. Employed more than 1,200 people. Major clients included Emaar, Etisalat, Ford, Microsoft, Sony Ericsson and Visa. Stated 2007 revenue: $100 million.
• AxiCom: Young & Rubicam Brands' Cohn & Wolfe in April 2008 bought majority stake in AxiCom, a European PR shop. Founded in 1994. Based in London. Employed 82 people. Stated 2007 revenue: $11.6 million (5.8 million pounds).