WPP is launching JWT Jordan by way of a deal to buy 51 per cent of the assets of marketing communications firm IDEA. JWT has worked with IDEA for a number of years now and the company will be renamed JWT Jordan.
This is the seventh mini-deal from so far this year by the ever-acquisitive WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell (currently wowing them in Davos with his prognostications, no doubt). Most of these have involved buying all or most of small business in emerging markets to roll in with one of WPP’s advertising, research or PR brands.
As such the deal will have made barely a dent in WPP’s acquisition budget, said by Sorrell to be £400m this year. Some analysts think he has £2bn to spend.
So we’re still waiting for the big deal but it may be that Sorrell thinks he has enough brands out there (they include MediaCom, Mindshare and GroupM in media, Ogilvy, JWT, Grey and Young & Rubicam in adverts, Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller in PR). As these other markets (even Jordan) take a bigger slice of the overall marketing cake from the US and Europe then his frantic policy of colonisation should, presumably, pay off.
So where next for the UK’s premier advertising knight (actually WPP is currently an Irish company but never mind)? Maybe it will be a media cum entertainment company. Big WPP client Unilever has just announced a deal to sponsor new Fox show Touch around the world. There are plenty of production companies within WPP’s financial reach.