WPP Makes Blast Radius Acquisition Official

Vancouver Digital Shop to Align With Wunderman

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- WPP Group officially announced its acquisition of Vancouver digital agency Blast Radius -- underlining its status as one of the most aggressive holding companies when it comes to buying digital-technology firms.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Building a network
Under the acquisition, Blast Radius will be aligned with WPP's relationship-marketing-services network Wunderman, which has been building a global network of digital capabilities, with recent acquisitions of South African digital agency Aqua Online and Belgium digital agency These Days.

"Wunderman is already a leader in relationship marketing. As marketers increase their dependency on digital channels, Wunderman and Blast Radius are well-situated to provide unparalleled online relationship-marketing capabilities to meet the growing global demand. With its focus on creating interactive experiences with the customer at the core, Blast Radius will add a unique expertise to our growing digital platform," Daniel Morel, CEO of Wunderman, said in a statement.

Next natural step
The 400-person Blast Radius shop, with estimated annual revenue of $60 million, was one of the largest independent interactive agencies still on the market. Founded in 1997, the agency does web design, optimization and social media for clients such as Nike, Whirlpool, Rubbermaid, UnitedHealth and Starbucks. An alliance with a holding company seemed like the natural next step for Blast Radius, which has faced a growing global demand for its services.

Blast Radius is the second shop WPP has bought outright in the past few months. In September, the London-based holding company announced its acquisition of Los Angeles-based interactive agency Schematic. In addition to buying shops outright, WPP has also taken smaller stakes in digital companies like 24/7 Real Media, in which it made a $649 million investment.
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