WPP expands in marketing services with French purchase

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PARIS--WPP Group-controlled French marketing services group High Co, Paris has acquired point-of-sale promotions specialist Media Cosmos. Financial details of the friendly takeover, a mix of cash and shares, were not disclosed.

High Co intends to put Media Cosmos at the heart of its ongoing efforts to provide increased services to retail clients, including the use of new technologies inside retail outlets in cooperation with brand clients. The agency already provides direct marketing services to Kraft Foods on a number of brands.

Media Cosmos reported 1999 billings topping $25 million, principally through work with leading French retail chains, including anchor client Casino, and is noted for its expertise in running co-branding operations between retailers and product marketers at retail sites.

The purchase follows on the heels of several other High Co acquisitions in the retail distribution sector, including the purchase earlier this year of two Belgian couponing companies, Promoontrol and Fast Movers, which reported 1999 sales topping $6 million.

Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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