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WPP strikes deal with ‘global influencer’ Richard Attias

Another day brings another WPP deal but this one’s more interesting than most: the marcoms giant headed by Sir Martin Sorrell has taken a 30 per cent stake in Richard Attias & Associates, a strategy consultancy run by the man who Sorrell, rightly, describes as a “global influencer.”

RAA, which employs 50 people in New York, Paris, London, Rabat and Dubai, turns over a juicy $35m. But the point of a deal like this is as much to give WPP another seat at the top table of business and politics.

Unknown-2Attias (left) says: “WPP has built formidable Government and Public Policy assets in its agency brands, as well as event and conference capabilities. Through RAA, we now have the opportunity to “horizontalise” these offers in a much more effective way for our clients and governments.” ‘Horizontalise’ (a favourite Sorrell phrase) eh? The boy’s a quick learner.

Sorrell says: “By building this partnership with global influencer Richard Attias , WPP confirms its strategy to support countries to brand their nations and corporations to have access to faster growing markets. Our ambition is to create together with Richard a world champion in the field of strategic communication, international conferences and global action oriented events.”

‘Branding nations’ is a new one surely? Will we see SMS And Attias forming a ‘Team UK’ to give David Cameron and George Osborne a leg up? It’s interesting that RAA has an office in the Moroccan capital of Rabat. There are a few nations in Africa that could maybe do with a bit of branding.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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